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Monday, May 10, 2021

Qatar’s “foremost” art collector emerges from house arrest

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He was once the world’s biggest art buyer, spending more than $24 million in a single week at auction houses in London in 2004.

Then in 2005, he suddenly disappeared in what the Telegraph has called a “mysterious fog of scandal.”

Now, Sheikh Saud al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, has re-emerged after being under house arrest over allegations of misusing public funds.

And he’s still a big spender.

The Independent reports:

According to US publication ARTnews, Sheikh Saud has spent more on art than any other collector over the past 12 months.

The publication’s editor, Milton Esterow, told The Independent that the Sheikh, 44, the second cousin of Qatar’s ruling Emir, Sheikh Hamad, had outstripped other collectors “by a significant margin” after spending “several hundred millions of dollars on art in the past two years”…

Senior sources have expressed surprise over the news, saying that the Emir’s daughter would be more likely and trustworthy conduit for their funds. Last week, Christie’s international chairman Edward J Dolman resigned to become executive director of her office, helping extend the Middle Eastern nation’s cultural regime.

Read the full article here.

Sheikh Saud is responsible for a great deal of the artwork we see on display at some of Qatar’s newest museums.

I wonder what sort of impact his return to the art scene will have in Doha!

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