Sunday 11, March 2018 by William Mullally

Abu Dhabi purchase of Salvator Mundi fuels rise in art investment

Art investment rose 21 per cent in 2017, outpacing all other luxury asset classes.

Investment in art showed a complete rebound in 2017 after several years of lagging behind other luxury investments, according to a new report. 

While art has always maintained its place as one of the top luxury investments, it has lost some of its colour in recent years, falling behind other asset classes such as classic cars and wine. While investment in luxury assets rose seven per cent in 2017 across the board, according to data from Knight Rank Luxury Investment Index, art outpaced all other asset classes, growing 21 per cent in the year. 

Art investment made headlines across the world when Salvator Mundi, considered possibly the last remaining masterpiece by legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci to make it to public auction, was purchased by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, to be displayed in the Louvre Abu Dhabi at an unannounced date. The painting sold for $450 million, shattering the previous world record of $271 million for a painting at auction.

"We are delighted to see this remarkable painting will be available for public view at the Louvre Abu Dhabi,” said the Department of Culture of Tourism in a statement at the time.

Investment in luxury assets is about much more than ROI, according to Knight Frank’s research. Joy of ownership was the number one reason for investment in these classes, according to a survey amongst individual investors, with status among peers also being mentioned as a motivating factor.

In the last ten years, art investment has grown 78 per cent.


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