Sotheby’s Hits Contemporary, Italian Art Targets with Combined Sales of $48.8 Million

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LONDON (REUTERS).- Contemporary and Italian art sales in London last week largely underlined the sense that stability was gradually returning to a market that saw values soar in 2007 and 2008 before tumbling dramatically in 2009. Sotheby’s raised a combined 30.4 million pounds ($48.8 million) from its contemporary and Italian 20th century art sales on Friday, and added a further 9.7 million pounds from its contemporary day auction on Saturday. The overall tally of 40.1 million pounds was toward the top end of pre-sale expectations and roughly double the amount raised from the equivalent sales in 2009. Sotheby’s called the results “remarkably strong,” capitalizing on the presence of the international art world in London for the annual Frieze Art Fair and accompanying exhibitions, auctions and receptions. Two Lucio