Sotheby's long-time Middle East specialist Roxane Zand steps down

Zand, who has been at Sotheby's since 2006, is well regarded as a speaker and writer on Arab and Middle Eastern art

Piraeus at Dawn (1949) by the Egyptian modernist Mahmoud Said
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Sotheby’s has seen two staff changes in its Middle Eastern and Asia team. The long-time Middle East deputy chair, Roxane Zand, has stepped down. Yamini Mehta, senior director for Indian art, is also leaving the auction house.

A Sotheby’s spokesperson said that both Zand and Mehta were leaving to pursue independent projects.

Zand, who has been at Sotheby's since 2006, is well regarded as a speaker and writer on Arab and Middle Eastern art, and last year published the book Geometry and Art: In the Modern Middle East with academic Sussan Babaie. She will continue to write her 'Cultural Crossroads' blog for Sotheby's website.

The announcement follows changes at the auction house’s main rival, Christie’s. Last month, Christie’s decided to halve its auction calendar for Middle Eastern sales, down from two a year to one, and to skip its Dubai sale for this year.

Sotheby's will continue to hold two sales per year of Middle Eastern work, both sited in London, and recently announced details of their upcoming Modern and Contemporary Eastern Art offerings on Tuesday, March 24. The sale will lead with the rare industrial landscape Piraeus at Dawn (1949) by Egyptian modernist Mahmoud Said.

Other lots are works by Etel Adnan, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Mohamed Melehi, and Fahrelnissa Zeid. Melehi, a Casablanca artist, is currently experiencing renewed interest in his work, with a retrospective opening later this month at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue, and new representation by Dubai gallery Lawrie Shabibi.