Art Market Seeks Its Footing After Stumbling Sales and a Hack at Christie’s | News World

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Estimates are still soaring past the $20 million mark and canvases still bear the signatures of dependable ringers like Warhol, Basquiat and Picasso. But there is a shadow looming over the spring auction season that begins Monday.

A cyberattack at Christie’s brought down the company’s website on Thursday, and as of Sunday morning, Christie’s had not yet regained control of it. On Sunday evening, in his first public statement since the cyberattack, Guillaume Cerruti, the chief executive of Christie’s, confirmed that eight auctions would proceed as scheduled, with bidding in person and by phone (the rare watches sale has been postponed until May 14). A place-holder website was set up allowing access to the digital catalogs, but did not allow online bidding. With the site down and questions still unanswered about the fate of confidential data, analysts are uncertain about the impact on buyers and sellers.

Over the next week, more than 1,700 works of modern and contemporary art are expected to be offered at the three major houses — Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips — with an estimate of $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion.

That represents a steep decline from the…


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