A collection of 30 contemporary pieces that could sell for millions of dirhams will go on sale this year at the biannual Christie's art auction in Dubai. The items come from the collection of Dr Mohammed Said Farsi, which, experts say, contains some of the most important modern art in the Middle East. It will be the second batch of Dr Farsi's art to be sold in the UAE. The first, in April, fetched $8.7 million (Dh32m), triple the pre-sale estimate.
Jussi Pylkkanen, the president of Christie's Europe and Middle East, said he was honoured to have more masterpieces from Dr Farsi's collection. "He is renowned throughout the Middle East for his appreciation and promotion of the visual arts in the public sector, and by now also for his own collection, which represents the greatest group of modern Egyptian art in private hands," said Mr Pylkkanen. Dr Farsi, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and became the mayor of Jeddah, started collecting art when he studied architecture and planning at the University of Alexandria. His collection includes works by Mahmoud Said, Ragheb Ayad, Abul Hadi el Gazzar, Hamed Nada, Seif and Adham Wanly and Adam Henein.
The highlight of the latest selection is 1929 painting The Whirling Dervishes, an early work by Said estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $400,000. Said is an important addition to the collection because in April, at the first Christie's auction in Dubai, his painting Les Chadoufs sold for $2.4m, the highest price paid for a painting by a Middle Eastern artist at auction. William Lawrie, the director of the modern and contemporary middle eastern art and head of sales, hopes for similar success on October 26. "It is a delight to be offering to the Middle Eastern auction market another significant sale of Egyptian masterpieces," he said. The pieces will go on sale at the Christie's International Modern and Contemporary Art in Dubai.
Another 40 pieces from Dr Farsi's collection will be offered at auction in Paris in November. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org