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Auctioneer picks his top five art galleries in the world

Words by Rob Chilton

Having been an art auctioneer for 30 years, specialising in Impressionist Art and 19th-century pictures, it’s safe to say Lord Mark Poltimore knows his way around an art gallery

Now Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, he spoke to EDGAR about his favourite places to see art, starting in Scandinavia.

The Twist Museum

Oslo, Norway

"I’ve just been to the opening of the Twist. This is yet another spectacular building owned by the remarkable [businessman and art collector] Christen Sveaas. The building itself is a bridge with a dynamic twist at the end, suspended over a fast-flowing river by an old mill. Set in a sculpture park at Kistefos, near Oslo it creates quite an atmosphere."

Twist Museum in Oslo

Alta Nationalgalerie

Berlin, Germany

"Being a child of the Cold War, I like visiting this museum as it’s in the east of Berlin and evokes memories from that time. I sold a picture to them by Eduard Gaertner who did some amazing architectural townscapes. He was one of the leading 19th-century architectural painters who carefully observed the buildings and people of Berlin. His pictures were often used to reconstruct parts of Berlin that had been destroyed in the war."

Alta Nationalgalerie in Berlin

Sir Johns Soane’s Museum

London, England

"This is a special museum as I believe it’s one of the only museums where they organise special evenings to dine by candlelight, recreating the atmosphere before electricity. The rooms are small and crammed with works of art and I always get nervous about knocking something over. It feels more like a home than a museum and that’s why it is so charming. Don’t forget to look out for the Hogarths which are not entirely hidden, but tucked away in cabinets that are excitedly revealed by the museum guides as you look around."

Sir John Soane's Museum in London

The National Gallery

London, England

"The National Gallery has got to be on the list and is one of my favourites in London. If I have an hour to spare I love to go there and do one room per visit as there is so much to absorb. I particularly like going to see a small winter landscape by the 19th-century German romantic painter, Caspar David Friedrich that I sold to the museum in the 1980s, the first work by this artist that was bought by a UK museum."

London's National Gallery

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE

"Obviously it is an extraordinary building by Jean Nouvel and one of the great architectural projects in recent years. But it is also one of the first major museums in the UAE and I find it very exciting that they are introducing art from all over the world to the MENA region."

Louvre Abu Dhabi in the UAE

Lord Mark Poltimore is Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe

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