LONDON (AFP) – The emir of Qatar has expressed an interest in the auction house Christie’s as the Gulf state seeks to establish itself as a cultural centre, in comments to a newspaper published Monday.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told the Financial Times that he would not hold back if an opportunity came up to bid for the auction house and fine art business.
“We are building a museum and it [Christie’s] has links with the stuff we are collecting for our museum,” the emir said.
“It depends on the opportunity — if we had a good opportunity we would not hesitate.”
Christie’s, which was founded almost 250 years ago, told the paper that it had not received a formal approach from the Qataris.
Qatar, a major exporter of liquefied natural gas, has ploughed its riches into a series of high-profile investments in recent times.
It snapped up the landmark London department store Harrods in May for a reported 1.5 billion pounds (2.4 billion dollars, 1.7 billion euros).