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Phillips to Sell 3.6 Million Pounds of Russian Contemporary Art

John Varoli,

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) – Phillips de Pury & Company in London hopes to sell as much as 3.6 million pounds ($7.30 million) of Russian art from the John L. Stewart Collection on Oct. 13.

Among the 65 lots are works by Erik Bulatov and the art duo, Dubossarsky & Vinogradov.

As Russia posts its ninth year of economic growth, rich Russians are collecting art for reasons that range from financial investment to home decorating and a love of art.

''The sale of this portion of my Russian collection marks a milestone for me that began in the mid 1980s,'' said John Stewart in an e-mail. ''It has become clear on several recent trips to Russia that the art world there is truly blossoming.''

Stewart, who lives between New York City and New Hampshire, bought his first Russian artwork in 1987. He said he made his money managing stock and bond portfolios for investors through Bankers Trust Corp. and Alliance Capital Management Corp.

The sale includes Erik Bulatov's 1977 painting, ''Soviet Cosmos,'' with an estimate of 750,000 pounds to one million pounds. The work shows Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev surrounded by flags.

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