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Art Basel Art Fair Opens Today In Switzerland (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

First Posted: 06/15/11 07:09 PM ET   Updated: 08/14/11 06:12 AM ET

Today Art Basel, referred to as "the Olympics of the art world," opened in Basel, Switzerland. This year, 300 galleries from 35 countries are showing their art to prospective buyers. The annual fair is attended by thousands of visitors including A-listers from Brad Pitt to Naomi Campbell to Will Ferrell who have been spotted in recent years.

Marc Spiegler, codirector of Art Basel has high expectations for this year's show, "what we saw at Art Basel Miami Beach [in December] and what we’ve seen at recent art fairs and at the auctions is that the art market is very strong right now, especially the market for very high quality work. We’re expecting a very, very strong show.”

For those attending, David Maupin of the Lehmann Maupin Gallery offered advice for first-timers: “My advice is to work with a great adviser,” said Maupin “Have that person guide you through the fair, through the exhibitions. [Advisors] know where you should go, what you should see, and they can be a filter.”

Similar to the Venice Biennale, Art Basel began in 1970 making this the 42 annual fair, and has had a sister exhibition Art Basel Miami Beach since 2002. In 2010 over 65,000 people attended the fair. Art Basel has most recently made the news with its purchase of a majority stake in the Hong Kong art fait ART HK. See video and photos of the fair below.

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A visitor looks at a David Zink Yi, Untitled (Architeuthis), 2010 artwork on June 14, 2011 in Basel, Switzerland.
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