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Cyber Attack Disrupts Christie’s $840 Million Art Auctions May 17, 2024 (0 comments)


Geneva, Switzerland--A cyber attack has disrupted Christie's $840 million art auctions, impacting the auction house's ability to showcase items online. Among the lots up for auction are Vincent van Gogh's "Coin de jardin avec papillons," valued at $35 million, and a collection of rare wines.

[Representative image via welcomia/]

According to a BBC report, potential buyers cannot view items on Christie's website, which has been taken offline due to the attack.

Christie's confirmed to the BBC that it experienced a "technology security incident" but was reassured that bids could still be placed over the phone and in person. An alternative website has been set up to provide basic information about the items for sale.

After the outage, Christie's still held a charity watch auction in Geneva, postponed from 2023. The Only Watch auction raised 28 million Swiss Francs ($30.8 million) for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research.

Christie's New York auctions began with the sale of works owned by art collector Rosa de la Cruz, followed by collections from the 20th and 21st centuries. The 20th-century collection, valued at $500 million, features works by Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andy Warhol. Despite the website issues, online bidding remains available through Christie's Live service.

According to another Vanity Fair report, on May 13, Christie's CEO Guillaume Cerutti emailed clients, confirming that the sales would proceed as planned despite the cyber attack. The auctions are taking place in the Rockefeller Center salesroom and over the telephone.

Per the report, Bonnie Brennan, president of Christie's Americas, highlighted the importance of in-person sales, noting that despite the growth of online bidding, the physical presence remains crucial. She expressed confidence in the team's ability to handle the situation and ensure the auctions' success.

The report added that despite these challenges, Christie's successfully conducted two evening sales. The first featured works from the Rosa de la Cruz collection, with notable sales, including a Félix González-Torres piece for $400,000. The second sale, the 21st Century Evening Sale, included a new record for an Ernst Yohji Jaeger and strong results for other contemporary works.

Learn more about this in the BBC and Vanity Fair reports.

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