Suspicions raised as delayed art auction goes ahead

Emily Kame Kngwarreye Earth’s Creation I, 1994 (detail)The widely anticipated auction of Aboriginal & Oceanic Works of Art that was set to take place on Tuesday 14 November at Sydney’s Chifley Tower, will now take place tonight (Thursday 16 November) at CooeeArt Marketplace, Paddington.

The newly formed partnership between industry veterans Adrian Newstead, founder of CooeeArt Marketplace and Tim Goodman, former chairman of Sotheby’s Australia remains intact after last night’s auction was postponed due to an unusually high surge of traffic from international viewers flocking to the site at 6.00pm sharp and overloading the server.

The interest garnered by the dynamic duo was due in part to CooeeArt’s consignment of Earth’s Creation I, Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s seminal painting estimated to smash auction records and fetch in the millions.

“The flood of interest on the site resulted in over 170,000 server processes at once,” said Fine Art Bourse IT Project Manager Carl Welsby. “Meaning the server had to put all these requests and users in a queue to process, causing the web page to stop loading.”

“We are thrilled at the amount of attention we’ve attracted for this auction, however we are investigating the possibility of foul play as we find it most unusual that we had such a spike in traffic on the site at exactly 6.00pm. Our investigations are continuing,” said Tim Goodman.

In the meantime, the CooeeArt Marketplace Fine Art Bourse partnership will now proceed with the auction tomorrow evening, with Tim Goodman acting as a traditional auctioneer. Online bidding will be available through third-party online bidding platforms as advertised on www.cooeeart.com.au.

“We are grateful and touched by the goodwill and encouragement from our vendors and the dozens of clients that have indicated their intention to bid at the auction through absentee bids, telephone bids, and online registrations,” said Adrian Newstead. “We anticipate a resoundingly successful result tomorrow evening.”

Image: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Earth’s Creation I, 1994 (detail). Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen. 632 x 275 cm (4 panels at 158 x 275 cm each).

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