Lehman Eyes $10 Million at Sotheby’s Modern Art Auction

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NEW YORK (REUTERS).- Bankrupt financial group Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc is selling off part of its art collection, including works by Gerhard Richter and Maya Lin, in the hopes of returning millions to creditors. Despite a lukewarm modern art market, Sotheby’s estimates the auction of 160 works in New York on Saturday will yield $10 million. Proceeds of the sale will be used to pay creditors owed hundreds of billions following its 2008 bankruptcy, the largest ever in the United States. Because of the sluggish market for modern art Lehman is selling a smaller number of pieces than initially planned and is focusing on big-name artists. “You are seeing very selective buying,” said Gabriela Palmieri, a senior specialist at Sotheby’s contemporary art department. In a bankruptcy auction buyers know that sellers are eager to get deals done, giving buyers an edge. So a smaller