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Auction raises £425,000 December 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus.

An auction featuring the work of Cypriot and Greek artists this week fetched £425,000.

Organised by Cypria Auctions, a partnership between Athenian auctioneer Petros Vergos and Gallery K in London and Nicosia, it was, “a huge success,” according to its Chairman.

“There was a fantastic attendance by collectors and art lovers,” George Kyriacou said. “It is a sign that we have been welcomed.”

Cypria Auctions, announced back in September, is the island’s first major auction house specialising in fine art work.

“Obviously, auctions have taken place on the island before, but this was the first that can be compared to an international auction,” Kyriacou explained. “Previous auctions have been organised and held by art dealers who were selling their own work, meaning the possibility of manipulation of the process could not be ruled out.”

All work from Cypriot and Greek artists from the 19th and 20th centuries came from private individual collectors and from estates.

“We also had a couple of lots from foreign artists which depicted scenes from the island,” the Chairman said. “One was an 18th century work depicting Venetian and Ottoman fleets in Larnaca Marina which fetched £31,050, while the second was a view of the Larnaca Salt Lake by a well-know 19th century Belgian artist which went for £11,500.”

In total, 104 lots were offered, with 83 finding buyers. Two fetched a high of £34,500. “These were a 19th century portrait of a clergyman by Andreas Kriezis and a small oil painting by Pol Georgiou.”

Kyriacou attributed the lack of 100 per cent sales to, “the inexperience of Greek art lovers not conditioned to auctions or to auctions of this calibre.”

The biggest surprise revolved around an interior painting by Cypriot artist Solomos Frangoulides. It was valued between five and seven thousand pounds but went for £16,000.

Buyers were institutions and private individuals. “The money raised was more or less what we anticipated.”

The next auction is scheduled to be held on May 23 next year, with work accepted up to March 31.

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