Artworks to go on the block at Vietnam's first auction center

By Bui Hong Nhung   September 22, 2016 | 12:52 am PT
But will the winning bidders pay up or shut up at the new center?

Vietnam’s first auction center is going to open in Hanoi on September 24, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The two-storey center in Cau Giay District covers an area of 1,000 square meters, and will hold regular public auctions.

It is hoped the auction house will breathe new life into Vietnam’s gloomy art market, where transactions are usually made between sellers and buyers rather than going through an auction house or company that guarantees the benefits of both parties.

Do Thi Hong Hanh, head of the Lac Viet Auction Company, said that they have set up a team of experts to ensure the artifacts are genuine to protect buyers.

On the opening day, there will be five items up for auction with starting prices ranging from VND15-50 million ($660-2,200).

Lac Viet held its first public auction for Vietnamese artworks in May this year, but the auction turned into a farse when the winning bidder refused to pay VND6.05 billion for a couple of giant porcelain jars. The artifacts were then sold to a businessman who bid VND6 billion.


A couple of giant porcelain jars.

This isn’t the first time the winning bidder has failed to cough up the cash.

In 2009, a business in Ho Chi Minh City agreed to pay VND450 million for a painting auctioned for charity, but then went back on the bid.

A year later, an auction held to raise funds for households affected by natural disasters in the central region, didn’t reach its goal after the artifacts went for less than expected and some bidders didn't pay for the items.

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