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However, as their Amsterdam saleroom in Amsterdam-Zuid, the cultural heart of the city, marks its 40th anniversary, Christie's say they remain committed to holding auctions in Holland.

"We can confirm that we are in a process of evolving our operations at Christie's Amsterdam," said a company statement.

"As one of our longest-established sale sites, Amsterdam and our Dutch clients are key to Christie's global business and we are dedicated to our presence there, and to holding auctions.

"However, reflecting both the company's global structure and the evolving demands of today's global art market, we believe changes are necessary to ensure success long into the future."

Staff Levels

ATG understand that 45 out of 67 posts will go in the changes.

The competitive environment in Amsterdam has changed markedly in recent years. Sotheby's, who opened in Amsterdam in 1974, laid off two-thirds of their 60 Amsterdam employees in January 2009 when the annual calendar fell from ten sales to two. The saleroom was finally closed in 2011 in favour of a consignment office with just three staff sourcing items for sale on the international market.

Christie's say "a decrease and change in auction schedule" is necessary "to fully integrate with the international sales calendar which our clients follow around the globe". Recent sales in Amsterdam have focused on fine art (from Old Masters to Post-War and Contemporary pictures) with fewer traditional Dutch 'pot pourri' sales of furniture, ceramics and works of art.

Christie's held 19 sales in Amsterdam in 2012.