Lehman Brothers to Sell Its Art Collection at Sotheby's

By Ben Fractenberg on September 15, 2010 12:12pm 

Lehman Brothers building is selling their art collection, priced around $10 million.
Lehman Brothers building is selling their art collection, priced around $10 million.
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Flickr/sachab

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Two years after filing for bankruptcy, Lehman Brothers is selling its estimated $10 million art collection, The New York Observer reported Tuesday.

The former financial services company will be hawking 460 pieces of contemporary art at Sotheby’s on Sept. 25. The collection includes Damien Hirst’s "We’ve Got Style" and Julie Mehretu’s "Untitled I."

"It's easy to portray this as a frivolous exercise by Wall Streeters—like throwing caviar out a window," Sotheby’s chairman of contemporary art department Tobias Meyer told The Observer, but "they actually had a strategy."

Lehman Brothers was at the heart of the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown. The firm was forced to file for bankruptcy protection after their stock lost 73 percent of its value in the first two quarters that year, according to The New York Times.

The troubled financial company tried to use accounting gimmicks to conceal its rapidly declining value, but couldn’t hide its troubled condition any longer after the subprime bubble burst.

A catalogue of the collection is available on Sotheby’s website.

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