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Emir of Qatar's sister "most powerful" person in art world, says magazine - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Works of art by British artist Damien Hirst, including his 1991 piece of a Tiger shark in formaldehyde solution called "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living"  which are part of the Relics show, the largest-ever collection of Hirst's work, on display at the Al-Riwaq exhibition space in Doha on October 8, 2013. (Damien Hirst and Science Ltd)

Works of art by British artist Damien Hirst, including his 1991 piece of a Tiger shark in formaldehyde solution called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” which are part of the Relics show, the largest ever collection of Hirst’s work, on display at the Al-Riwaq exhibition space in Doha on October 8, 2013 (Damien Hirst and Science Ltd)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The sister of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, has been ranked as the most powerful person in the world of art by leading contemporary art magazine ArtReview.

In a statement, the magazine gave the Sheikha’s “sheer buying power” as the reason for her nomination.

It is estimated that the 30-year-old, who heads the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), spends approximately USD 1 billion a year on works of art, “roughly 30 times what MoMA [the Museum of Modern Art in New York] spent . . . and 175 times what the Tate invested,” according to ArtReview.

She first appeared in the magazine’s “Power 100” list in 2011 at number 90, in the year Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei was at number one. Last year, the Sheikha rose to 11th place.

In a statement to Reuters, ArtReview editor Mark Rappolt said: “I think the figures definitely speak for themselves and of the importance she has for the art market.”

“I also think in some ways you could say that the Qatari Museums Authority is symptomatic of a global art culture in which art is culturally exchangeable,” he added.

Under the Sheikha’s chairmanship, the QMA has embarked on major efforts to enrich Qatar’s cultural scene. In 2008, she unveiled the Museum of Islamic Art in the country’s capital, Doha.

Furthermore, the QMA sponsored Tate Modern’s Damien Hirst exhibition in September 2012, attracting more than 463,000 visitors. Skeikha Mayassa made Hirst the world’s highest grossing living artist in 2007 after purchasing his piece, Lullaby Spring Pill Cabinet.

Sheikha Mayassa was made known last year after Vanity Fair disclosed that she had purchased Cézanne’s The Card Players for USD 250 million (GBP 158.4 million), making it the highest-priced piece of artwork ever.

Sheikha Mayassa was trailed by American art dealers David Zwirner and Iwan Wirth in second and third place respectively.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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