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Wealthy expats fuel Irish art sales





YOUNG, wealthy Irish expats who have found success after leaving Ireland's stagnating economy have been credited with boosting sales of Irish art.

Ian Whyte of Whyte's auctioneers in Dublin said the art world had noticed a welcome rise in sales since March – thanks to the cash-rich cubs who want to show off their Irish heritage.

He said the Irish emigres were spending up to €100,000 to take a piece of art to their far-flung new homes.

"There are great deals to be had at the moment and I think people are starting to recognise that," Mr Whyte told the Sunday Independent.

"They are spending anything from €5,000 right up to €100,000 to have a little bit of their Irish culture on their walls. I think they're very proud of where they came from and they want to show that off."

He added: "There are people who now live in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, China, who have very good jobs in the professional areas. They want something which is going to keep them connected to Ireland."

The art auctioneer said the buyers were mostly wealthy young professionals in their 30s and 40s.

"They are buying contemporary art and paintings that would remind them of home, while the older clients are buying the old masters – the likes of Yeats and Walter Osborne and Sir John Lavery," Mr Whyte said.

"An Irish-American bought a William Bartlett painting of Aran Islanders several weeks ago that was expected to go for €10,000 but ended up going for over €75,000."

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