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The Antiques Trade Gazette sought clarification after a worried call from a London dealer. The Portland and Malcom Innes Galleries, which would have been affected by such a move, confirmed that they had heard the rumour but had not recieved any correspondence from Christie’s on the matter.

A Christie’s spokesman told the Gazette that they had plans to redevelop their own King Street premises but there were no proposals for their leasehold properties.

He assured the leaseholders that they would be the first to know if any decisions were taken about their leasehold arrangements.