Frantisek Kupka painting sets Czech auction record
Experts predicted that a new record could be set on Sunday when a work by the Czech-born abstract artist Frantisek Kupka was going under the hammer in Prague. They were right: the oil on canvas was sold to an anonymous bidder for 13.4 million crowns (around 642,500 dollars), a price that would have been unthinkable on the Czech market a decade ago.
"I had an independent assessment made by an expert on the international market and he estimated it at roughly the final price. He also said that within five years or earlier it will be worth a million dollars."
Due to property returns after 1989, all of a sudden many works of art were up for sale in the 1990s, but the purchasing power in the country was still small. The first time that a work of art was sold at auction in the Czech Republic for a price over a million crowns was in 1997. According to experts, it was former TV magnate and current Czech MEP Vladimir Zelezny who, as a keen collector, added fresh momentum to the art market. When he retreated a few years ago, the market went down for a while.