Just came across the story below in blouinartinfo.com. The linked article (Everyone knew that Qatar was big in the art market) is the most interesting part. I have been to Qatar many times. It is tiny, dismal and fiercely ambitious. Perky sheikhas and all … Yet, try to get a visa for a single woman … Somebody said somewhere that the art market today is where money and art have sex in public. This kind of sex in public seems to be OK in Qatar, Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
– Qatar’s $1-Billion Art Budget: Everyone knew that Qatar was big in the art market. But how big? The Qatari royal family, in particular Sheika al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, now has an acquisition budget that experts estimate at a staggering $1 billion a year. Recent acquisitions include a $70-million Rothko, a $20-million Damien Hirst pill cabinet, and the Cézanne’s “Card Players,” famously purchased for $250 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting. “They’re the most important buyers of art in the market today,” said Patricia G. Hambrecht, the chief business development officer for Phillips auction house. “The amount of money being spent is mind-boggling.” [NYT]