China overtakes UK in art market league

Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was sold for $106.5m (£66.1m) in art market leader the US

China has overtaken the UK as a global art market for the first time, a report suggests.

The UK was knocked from second spot to third place as a global market for antiques and arts, according to The European Fine Art Foundation.

The US continued to dominate the market in 2010, with a global share of 37%.

China's share is 23%. The UK's is 22%. The British Art Market Federation - which represents many UK dealers - said the figures made "alarming reading".

The UK remains Europe's biggest market, followed by France.

"The period from 2008 through 2010 has been one of crisis and recovery for the market for art and antiques," the report said.

The report also shows that an EU art tax due to be extended in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria next year risks further damaging those markets by encouraging vendors to sell elsewhere.

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