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Collector launches website to rate dealers

Helping young collectors to find the right gallery

Christian Schwarm, a 36-year-old art collector and owner of a PR-firm in Stuttgart, plans to launch a website at Art Basel which rates commercial galleries under the headings “hot”, “reliable”, “pleasant”, “established” and “recommended”.

The website is aimed at young collectors, who will be able to use the site to share information, and look at ratings of galleries ranging from Tokyo to Paris and London. Mr Schwarm expects the site to include field reports by collectors.

It has received support from Wilhelm Schürmann, one of Germany’s most famous collectors of contemporary art. Based in Aix-la-Chapelle, Mr Schürmann is a friend of Mr Schwarm and has invested some money in the project, which has thus far cost nearly E1m. At first, users can register for free, but later on Mr Schwarm plans to charge an annual subscription fee of between E100 and E200.

Mr Schwarm wants to offer his clients an independent opinion of the galleries listed. “If you are a young collector, it is often difficult to find the right gallery,” he explained and says he is convinced his rating system will prove popular. The exhibitors at Art Basel and Liste will be listed on the site: www.independent-collectors.com.