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In a statement issued on October 29, the venue said: “In accordance with the French government’s directives, Drouot closes tonight until further notice. We will keep you informed as soon as possible of the auctions calendar.”

More than 60 auction houses use the Drouot facilities to host sales. Many will now be moving their sales online.

A Drouot spokesperson told ATG: “At the moment, auction houses are sorting themselves out. The majority of sales will go ahead and will take place remotely online via Drouot Digital.”

Macron announced this latest lockdown will run until at least December 1. The new measures, enforced from October 30, have meant people can leave home only for essential work or medical reasons.

The situation will be reassessed every two weeks so it is unclear whether auctions in December will be open to the public.

Non-essential businesses have been closed, but schools and factories will remain open.

Coronavirus daily deaths in France are at the highest level since April.

In Germany, chancellor Angela Merkel announced a partial lockdown to begin on November 2. Leisure companies will close; however, retail businesses will be able to trade.

Auction houses and art galleries will be able to remain open if they meet strict guidelines.

In a statement from the Minister of State for Culture and the Media in Germany said: “At this point of time, there is no general rule that requires auction houses (selling art and antiques) to close their premises in Germany.

“Galleries and auction houses are subject to the strict rules of sanitation and social distancing imposed by local authorities. In fact, this means that there are only very few people allowed on the premises and there is a strong recommendation for digital formats.”