Richter painting sets new record at auction

Domplatz, MailandA painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for $37m (£24m) at auction, breaking a record he already held for the highest price for a living artist. The painting is entitled Domplatz, Mailand (cathedral square, Milan, in German) is almost 3m by 3m, and was completed in 1968.
The black and white painting resembles an out of focus painting of the Milanese piazza and was commissioned by Siemens. It was hung on the walls of the company's Milan offices for 30 years, and was last bought at auction in 1998 for £2.2m in London by the Hyatt group. The price achieved this week was more than ten times the price the group initially paid.

The new owner of the painting is Donald Bryant, a Napa Valley winemaker, who, according to the Guardian, punched his fist in the air when his final bid was accepted. He said the work "just knock me over".

Richter already held the record for the highest price paid for work by a living artist when Eric Clapton sold a painting of his, Abstraktes Bild for £21.3m in London last year. The artist was the subject of a retrospective exhibition in 2011 – 2012 at the Tate Modern in London.

While Sotheby's celebrated, another major New York auction house had reason to be cheerful. The contemporary art sale at Christie's, New York, has made art history too, with sales totalling a record $495m (£325m). It included works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The sale was said to have been part of a "new era in the art market."

Steven Murphy, CEO of Christie's International, told Reuters: "Twenty-five percent of our buyers last year were new to Christie's and four or five of the key lots tonight went to people who have never bought here before."

Forbes rich list: the world's top ten billionaires
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Richter painting sets new record at auction

The Mexican self-made telecoms mogul tops the rich list with a wealth that, as Forbes reports, if it were a country would be the eighth richest in Latin America.

Dubbed the world's most generous person, Bill Gates made his fortune as the brains behind Microsoft and has reportedly already donated $28 billion of his wealth to charity so far.

Spanish billionaire Ortega is the man behind the clothes brand Zara and is this year's biggest rich list gainer, making $19.5 billion last year and moving him into third position.

Buffett made his billions as CEO, primary shareholder and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, A diversified company with interest in GEICO, life insurance, annuity sales and sales of jewellery. He recently signed a lucrative deal to acquire Heinz Ketchup.

Ellison founded Oracle Corporation, a leading enterprise software company. He's America's third richest man and Forbes has reported that he recently bought 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai from David Murdock for a reported sum of $500 million.

Koch built his fortune on chemicals and refining and shares the sixth position on the rich list with his billionaire brother, David Koch.

Tied sixth in the rich list with his elder brother Charles, David runs the chemical equipment side of Koch Industries from his New York home.

This self-made billionaire is Asia's richest man and currently supplies a quarter of British people with gas after acquiring British gas supplier Wales & West Utilities for $1 billion last October.

The only woman in the top ten, Bettencourt's father founded L'Oreal and now she and her family own 30% of the French cosmetics super brand.

Branded by Forbes as the 'World's most influential tastemaker' Arnault owns the luxury goods powerhouse LVHM, Moet Hennessy - Luis Vuitton.


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