Same Sentiments: Three of the World’s Biggest Auction Houses Withdraw From London’s Russian Art Week - Arts & Culture

Russian artwork makes about $49.6 million of this total in London.

Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Bonhams–three of the world’s largest auction houses, have announced they will no longer participate in London’s Russian Art Week. 

According to Newsweek, the annual event is where “Russian oligarchs often descend on the city to bid on pieces.”

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Taking a stand

Sotheby’s, a British-founded American multinational corporation, released a statement on Wednesday: “Sotheby’s will not be holding Russian art sales in June. We are absolutely rigorous about following the present sanctions and are monitoring closely for any updates to the lists.”

At the same time, 256-year-old auction house Christie’s said they’ve decided to cancel their June Russian sales, “while the current sales market for Christie’s in Russia as a whole is relatively small, we have a responsibility to respond to our client’s needs and to geopolitical events that are out of our control.”

With a confirmation to Art Newspaper, Bothams said they also wouldn’t be taking part in the Russian art fair but stated no reason. 

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A post shared by Christie’s (@christiesinc)

Sebastian Duthy, CEO of Art Market Research, told Newsweek that Russian artwork makes about $49.6 million of this total in London.

Halting trade

The withdrawals advance the international communities’ shunning Russia due to President Putin’s authorized military operation against Ukraine.

 In the luxury fashion industry, conglomerates like Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen), LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Tiffany & Co.), and watchmaker Richmond (Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre) have halted trade in Russia.

Banner photo from @sothebys on Instagram.

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