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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Irish expats boosting art sales

An Irish auctioneer has spoken out about an upturn in sales of art, due to wealthy expatriates from the country wishing to have a piece of their homeland on their walls.

Ian Whyte of Whyte's Auctioneers in Dublin said that there has been a marked rise in art purchases since March, due to people who have moved away from Ireland to find better jobs during the economic downturn wanting to have a memory of home.

Some expats are spending as much as €100,000 (£86,325) on art at a time to show their pride in their heritage, he revealed.

"There are great deals to be had at the moment and I think people are starting to recognise that," the auctioneer told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Whyte went on to say that much of the boost is down to professionals now living in Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Collecting art from Ireland helps to keep them connected to the nation and their large salaries make it possible to spend huge sums.

"I think they're very proud of where they came from and they want to show that off," he added.

Those who are buying the most art from the auction house are in their 30s and 40s, with contemporary paintings being particularly popular.

Meanwhile, the older demographic continues to purchase old masters, like Yeats , Walter Osborne and Sir John Lavery.

Mr Whyte said: "An Irish-American bought a William Bartlett painting of Aran Islanders several weeks ago that was expected to go for €10,000 but ended up going for over €75,000."

For those with the disposable income to do so, purchasing art from your home country is a good way to ward off home sickness.

A nice nostalgic scene or a favourite view helps to remind expats of the places they love and can return to on breaks from work.

Such pieces can also make for good conversation starters when other expats visit your home while living abroad.

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