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Arts exports climb to a five-year high driven by wealthy Russian and Chinese shoppers


Demand from wealthy Russians and Chinese investors looking to increase their cultural credentials has pushed the UK's art export market to a five year high.

A study by Thomson Reuters' found the total value of artworks and cultural items leaving the UK rose by 7 per cent to £10.5bn in 2012/13 up from £9.8bn in the previous year.

 Massimo Sterpi, co-editor of Thomson Reuters-published The Art Collecting Legal Handbook, said: “Interest from foreign High Net Worth individuals from countries such as China and Russia in the UK art market remains remarkably high. Foreign buyers are attracted by London’s art market partly because of the UK’s pragmatic export regime and partly because of the critical mass of art valuation and auction experts that has been built up in London."

The overall rise was despite a dip in the value of art exported from the UK under its export licensing system from £1.97bn in the previous year to £1.67bn. British art auction experts such as Christie’s have been expanding overseas to capture the demand in areas including China and India and Christie’s last year hosted its first Chinese auction in Shanghai.