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‘The rich have got much richer’: why art sale prices are going through the roof

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As a straight return on investment, it’s hard to beat “Untitled”, a 1982 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the African American street artist who became a global cultural icon, featuring a horned African mask on an abstract background across a canvas almost 5m wide.In 2004, the painting sold for $4.5m.

Back on the market 12 years later, it fetched $57.3m, then a record for a Basquiat. This week, it went under the hammer in New York for $85m (£68m), including fees, to a buyer from Asia.The Basquiat sale comes amid extraordinary sums paid for artworks.

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