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Christie's holds 1st art auction in India, hoping to cultivate burgeoning ranks of wealthy

Christie's is holding its first art auction in India, aiming to tap into a budding market for prestige purchasing among the country's fast-growing ranks of millionaires.

The inaugural sale Thursday of 83 lots in the financial hub of Mumbai features paintings from the private collection of one of India's first families of contemporary art as well as pieces from six of the nine Indian artists deemed "national treasures" whose works cannot leave the country. It is expected to total $6 million to $8 million.

Christie's sees the relatively underdeveloped art market in Asia's third-largest economy as fertile ground for growth as part of its international expansion that has included recent auctions in China and the Middle East.