Qatar named world's biggest contemporary art buyer

  • July 07, 2011 09:01

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L-R : French president's advisor Catherine Pegard, Sheikh Jassem (husband of Sheikha Mayassa), Qatar's Emir's daughter Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority Board of Trustees, French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, attend Japanese artist Takashi Murakami's exhibtion's opening party at Versailles Palace, near Paris, on September 12, 2010.
Photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo via flickr

The energy-rich nation of Qatar has emerged as the world's biggest buyer of modern and contemporary art, according to a report in The Art Newspaper.

Working with agents, and buying from dealers and at auction, the country has been building an immense art collection over the past 6 years.

A driving force in the arts is Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani—the 27-year-old daughter of the Emir of Qatar--who recently tapped Christie’s chairman, Edward Dolman, to become executive director of her office and oversee the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).

Among the recent major art deals thought to have gone to Qatar are the 11 "Merkin Rothkos," $310m worth of Mark Rothko paintings from the collection of fallen financier J. Ezra Merkin; the $400m Sonnabend estate with works by Lichtenstein and Koons; and Andy Warhol’s The Men in Her Life, 1962, which sold for $63.4m at Phillips de Pury in New York in November 2010; among other significant works.

Read more at The Art Newspaper

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