(From Big News Network, Sunday 21st November, 2004) China opens its doors to foreign auction houses dealing in art and antiquities in December as part of its obligations as a World Trade Organization member. The Art Newspaper reported Monday that Ministry of Commerce officials said the world's largest market will be opened Dec. 11 to fully owned foreign firms that meet specified minimum capital limits and other corporate requirements. The firms also will be bound to respect the country's cultural protection laws. China's Ministry of Culture restricts dealing in works of art, books, and archives dating prior to 1949, the year of the Communist takeover of the Chinese government. Under a regulation applying from May of this year, auction companies are required to obtain certification from the ministry's Relics Bureau to deal in objects prior to that date.

"I am out to introduce a psychic shock into my painting, one that is always motivated by pictorial reasoning: that is to say, a fourth dimension."

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A dead pope, a giant bear, a bright yellow puppy with its ears standing upright and shelves of jars filled with bovine internal organs preserved in formaldehyde were just a few of the artworks that a loyal and growing group of contemporary-art collectors snapped up last night at Phillips, de Pury & Company. Artists of the 1980's and 90's dominated the offerings in the packed Chelsea salesroom on the last night of two solid weeks of the important fall art auctions, Of the 58 lots, only 4 failed to sell. The auction totaled $25.5 million, right in the middle of its estimate of $20.9 million to $29.3 million.

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Pause For Thought

Reynolds on Rooms with Pictures

"A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts."