Art Dealer Sets Up Fair to Draw Wealthy Russians; Major Attractions: The New Russian Art Fair in London Will Include Work by Mainstream Artists Including Wassily Kandinsky, above, and Avantgarde Painters Such as Kazimir Malevich, Left, and Natalia Goncharova, Right

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Byline: LOUISE JURY

LONDON is to have its first Russian art fair in the summer.

Dealer Peter London is setting up a twice-yearly event to coincide with the Russian sales already operated by leading auction houses.

The move follows large demand for the art, fuelled partly by the emergence of wealthy Russians, many of whom have made London their home.

It is estimated that there are nearly 400,000 Russians living in the capital.

Mr London said of Russian art: "It is the biggest explosion in terms of price and desirability and collectors." Art fairs in general were suffering dramatically, but specialist events such as Frieze for contemporary art were bucking the trend, he said.

"Contemporary art is pretty well covered but there was nothing for Russian art apart from the regular auctions.

"We also want it to be a social occasion because there are not a huge number of social events for the Russians in London." The inaugural event has attracted interest from notable Russians and Russiaphiles such as Prince Michael of Kent.

"These people have been affected badly by what's happening in the Moscow Stock Exchange about 75 per cent has been wiped off the value but many still have a few million in the bank. …

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