Monaco set to become centre of excellence for modern art auctions

The success of a recent auction of modern art and jewellery in Monaco has strengthened the Principality’s image as a centre of excellence in the art world.

The Monte-Carlo Auction House – l’Hotel des ventes de Monte-Carlo – had published an extensive catalogue in advance of the sale, held at the Monaco Yacht Club on Sunday, July 22, accommodating a total of 400 lots. The auction’s success was attributed in part to its eclectic nature. At the lower end of the price scale were Hermes scarves selling at 100 euros, while at the pricier end a dancing couple by the Monegasque sculptor Bolero fetched 1.4 million euros.

GamlucArt16, Adriano Ribolzi, Corinne Chauvet, Palais Princier
Corinne Chauvet sculpture at Ribolzi Gallery. Photo: F Terlin

Co-founder of HVMC Franck Baille told local French daily Monaco Matin that he was very encouraged by the sale. He said he would like to see Monaco develop as a centre for sales of modern art. One impediment is the law that requires a payment to the artist or his descendants of a portion of the sale price – the ‘droit de suite’. While this is limited to a maximum of 12,500 euros in France, there is currently no ceiling in place in Monaco and the payment is based on three percent of the selling price.

However, according to Franck Baille, Monaco’s Government is considering reforming the rules, a move that would give Monaco a boost in the world of modern art sales.