01/28/2013 07:59 am ET

As Art Market Soars, So Do Questions Of Oversight

When some of the world's richest people gather for the glittering New York auction season this spring, they will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in an art market that allows opaque transactions and has few outside monitors.

At major auctions the first bids announced for a piece are typically fictional -- numbers pulled from the air by the auctioneer to jump-start bidding.

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