Christie’s art storage facility to benefit Indian collectors (With Images)

May 18th, 2009 - 8:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Indian art collectors, who source their works from Christie’s sales of South Asian art in Singapore and Hong Kong, will soon have a special facility to store their consignment in Singapore before shipment, the auction house said Monday.
A new long-term art storage space at the Singapore Freeport, the first of its kind in Asia, will benefit Indian and sub-continental collectors when it opens its doors in 2010 in terms of space and security, Christie’s said.

The facility known as the Christie’s Fine Art Storage Service (CFASS), supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), will be the largest free port dedicated to the storage of fine art and high value collectibles with nearly 22,500 square metres gross floor area, said a press communique issued by the auction house from Hong Kong.

It is being developed jointly by the Singapore National Arts Council and the National Heritage Board of Singapore.

Located at Changi Airport, the facility, according to the release, will allow rapid and safe transfer of fine art, collectibles and other valuables with stringent security, strong rooms and storage solutions ranging from single item storage and small collections to fully-managed exclusive units ranging from 10 square metres to very large spaces for complete collections.

Andy Foster, chief operating officer of Christie’s International and president of Asia, said: “The opening of CFASS Singapore and our agreement with The Singapore Freeport Private Ltd underscore Christie’s long-term commitment to our business in Asia. This facility stands as the most advanced of its type in the world. ”

The auction house has been making deeper inroads into the steady art market in India estimated at $400 million and growing at 35 percent annually despite the global economic downturn.

Alain Vandenborre, president and co-founder of The Singapore Freeport, said collectors and dealers could avail of tax-free storage, display and transactions facilities at the CFASS because the Freeport was a round-the-clock free trade zone.

The facility, he said, would integrate systems for solar power, water recycling and energy efficiency utilising landscaping features and other high technology for climate control systems to ensure that the art works were not damaged.

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