Quiz: After the United States and Britain, which country buys the most fine art?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works. The question I’d like to highlight this week is: After the United States and Britain, which country buys the most fine art? ...

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

For those of you who don't subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you're missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I'd like to highlight this week is:

After the United States and Britain, which country buys the most fine art?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I’d like to highlight this week is:

After the United States and Britain, which country buys the most fine art?

a) France    b) China    c) Belgium

Answer after the jump …

Answer:

B, China. In 2008, China overtook France to become the world’s third-largest art market, as measured by sales of fine art at auction, according to a report in the Economist. China accounted for 7.7 percent of sales, surpassing France’s 6 percent. The United States and Britain were by far the leaders at 35.7 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.

(The Economist reported on Monday that in 2009,  France did manage to regain it’s No. 3 spot, but dismissed it as a temporary blip due to a Yves Saint Laurent/Pierre Bergé sale. China will be back to No. 3 soon because art sales in China are booming, with a whopping 24 percent increase in the value of art-auction sales between 2008 and 2009 — in the middle of the Great Recession!) 

In general, the range of nationalities of buyers of expensive fine art has been increasing as countries outside the Western world become richer. In 2003, Sotheby’s top buyers — those who hauled home at least $500,000 of art — hailed from 36 countries. In 2007, top buyers came from 58 countries.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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