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As news of sales at Art Basel flooded in throughout the day Wednesday, many dealers confirmed an unexpected pattern to the buying taking place in their booths. “The big surprise is that even with the Euro low and the dollar high, we’ve had mainly Europeans buying," said Rachel Lehmann of New York gallery Lehmann Maupin. The gallery sold two neon pieces by Tracey Emin, for £50,000 ($74,000) apiece, one to a collector from Germany and the other to a collector from Norway.
Collectors from countries with developing markets for contemporary art were also making their presence felt at the fair, Lehmann added. One of the editions of Do Ho Suh's large bronze sculpture Karma, for instance, went to a public collection in Istanbul for $375,000. The other two pieces in the edition went to private collectors in New York and London.