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So say Artprice.com, whose latest study reveals that for nearly a decade, until July 2002, prices on both sides of the Atlantic were “practically in sync”.

Since then, however, prices have diverged hugely. Artprice say that, as a result, despite the previous correlation, the last ten years now show New York price levels have risen by an average of 3.2 per cent annually, while in Paris, the third biggest market globally, prices have fallen by an average of 1.5 per cent.

The weak dollar and economic recovery have boosted the US market after two years of stagnation between 2001 and 2003, say Artprice.

“Since then, prices have been constantly on the rise. In France, however, the art market is still in crisis. Price levels are gradually slipping: in October 2004, they were 11 per cent lower than two years earlier. In the United States, the opposite is true: $100 invested in an artwork two years ago is now worth an average of $141.”