France buys eight works at major art fair, spending down

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The French state bought eight works of contemporary art worth 200,000 euros at an annual fair that wrapped up Sunday, spending half of what it has in previous years, the culture ministry announced.

This year's purchases were down from the 24 works worth 400,000 euros (560,000 dollars) bought at last year's International Fair of Contemporary Art (FIAC), a sum that had been unchanged since 2006.

Asked about the drop in spending, ministry official Jean-Pierre Simon told AFP that the annual amount allocated to the state for buying contemporary art was unchanged at around three million euros.

For 2010, there remained only 200,000 euros with the rest already spent on other purchases, he said.

The national acquisition committee of experts and state representatives chose from FIAC this year sculptures, videos, photographs and a painting.

They were by Katinka Bock, Ricardo Brey, Ryan Gander, Nathan Hylden, Klara Kristalova, Jean-Luc Moulene, Stephane Thidet and John Wood.

They will join around 29,000 other pieces at the state's national collection of contemporary art.

Around 3,500 artists were represented at this year's fair, according to the FIAC website.

© 2010 AFP

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