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Julio Le Parc, Bugada and Cargnel / Image Source - Courtesy of Art Basel
 
Anyone who happens to be in Switzerland at the moment, should head over to the city of Basel, where Art Basel is in the midst of its 45th edition.  Founded in 1970, it has gone on to become the mainstay of art fairs, bringing together the key players of the art market. The 2013 show attracted 70, 000 visitors over the course of six days and this year sees the participation of 285 galleries from 34 countries.
 
Prospects are up for art dealers, as the global art market is currently going through a prosperous period. A report published by the European Fine Art Foundation found that there’s been an 8% rise in art sales from 2012 to 2013, bringing the total to $65.9 billion.


Richard Long, Lisson Gallery / Image Source - Courtesy of Art Basel
 
Last month Art Basel Hong Kong reported strong sales following its second edition, and it looks as though sales for Art Basel should follow suit. AXA Art has estimated the total value of art at this year’s fair to be worth $4 billion. This is a 128.6% increase from 2011, which was estimated at $1.75 billion. Only a couple of days in, and there have already been some impressive sales. Jeff Koons’ “Dolphin” has sold for $5 million, whilst a self-portrait by Andy Warhol fetched $32 million within the first quarter of an hour of the show opening.
 
Art Basel Director, Marc Spiegler told the AFP that the art fair’s success is "because it has always tried to stay very much in tune with what's going on in the art world."