Matisse, Picasso, Mondrian, Brancusi and even Louis XV were just a few of the big names at the Grand Palais in Paris last week. These may seem like hard economic times, but the money is still out there: Christie's raised nearly $500 million in its auction of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's personal art collection.
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Some came to buy, or just to admire, but others came in protest. Despite public demonstrations and objections from the Chinese government, two rare Qing dynasty sculptures that had disappeared from China nearly 150 years ago were sold for $18 million each to anonymous bidders.
Laurent, who revolutionized women's fashion with the introduction of the stylish pantsuit, died last June at the age of 71. His partner, Pierre Berge, who organized the auction, said that a percentage of the money raised would be allocated for AIDS research. Read more.