Drouot chief Dominique Ribeyre has denied press reports that Paris auctioneers have ditched plans to renovate their Hôtel Drouot headquarters. He told the Antiques Trade Gazette it would be “folly” to go ahead with the plans – that will require Drouot to be closed completely for six months – just as the auction reform was about to take effect, and said he now expected work to start in summmer 2002. He is still scouring the capital for a site for temporary relocation, to be at least 4000sq metres and able to accommodate 16 salerooms (the Hôtel Drouot covers 10,000 sq metres but that includes the extensive basement warehousing area that will be unaffected by the renovation).
Drouot art sales up 12 per cent
FRANCE: Auction sales in Paris in the first six months of 2001 totalled Fr2.56bn (£240m), a rise of 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2000. Art sales (as opposed to sales of vehicles or industrial material) showed an even sharper increase, up 12 per cent at Fr2.1bn (£195m).