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Christie’s Sales Surge 9% on Contemporary Art, Warhol, Picasso

Christie’s International said there was a surge in demand for contemporary art as an investment, after its sales climbed 9 percent in 2011.

The London-based auction house sold 3.6 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) of art and collectibles last year, a pound-sterling record for the company, it said in an e-mailed release sent last night. Contemporary works -- led by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko -- were the most lucrative category, contributing 735.7 million pounds at public sales, an increase of 22 percent.