Masterpieces Are the Ideal Places for the Rich to Park Their Money; COMMENTARY

Article excerpt

Byline: Godfrey Barker

THE world record [pounds sterling]65 million or $104.3 million paid anonymously at Sotheby's last night for a work of art is easily explained. It is about that special problem of the superrich which does not worry ordinary humanity: where to park their wealth.

Leaving money in banks which pay under one per cent per annum for cash is not even an option for billionaires. Putting it on Wall Street or the FTSE has handed as much misery as reward to investors since 2005.

But buying up undisputed art masterpieces like Sotheby's Giacometti is a guarantee of strong capital growth and high return.

Walking Man I had it all. It was by far the dearest of Giacometti's sculptures at auction in the Eighties when the other version sold for [pounds sterling]3.74 million in 1988. Among the Swiss sculptor's works, it is revered. It is a rare lifetime cast from Giacometti's own hand. It is lifesize, just one of two made on this scale (for the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York). It will always be popular and will always attract ready buyers, for it is easy on the eye and easily understood. …