Christie's sells most expensive current Arab art work

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DUBAI Auction house Christie s fetched late Tuesday the highest price for a work of contemporary Arab art at $662,500 for a double calligraphy by Egypt s Ahmed Mustafa.

Art works sold during the auction in Dubai collected a total $6.7 million, double the value reached in the last auction held by Christie s in Dubai in April.

The two-day event concluded Wednesday night as jewelry and watches went under the hammer. Christie s expects total sales to range between $12.9 and $17.8 million.

Mustafa s Remembrance and Gratitude broke his own record registered in a similar auction in 2007.

Indian artist Tyeb Metha s painting Untitled (Yellow Heads) came second with a price of $578,500, while Turkish Burhan Dogancay s Rift was sold for $242,500, and Iranian Charles Hossein Zenderoudi s Kharjee Spirit fetched $218,500.

The jewelry highlight at the auction is expected to be a pair of diamond earrings, each weighing slightly more than 15 carats, with an estimated value of between $400,000 and $600,000.

Despite the global economic crisis… the appetite for art in the Middle East continues to grow, and also the appetite for Middle Eastern arts, said Michael Jeha, Christie s Middle East managing director.

Jeha told reporters that since its first auction in 2006, Christie s sales in Dubai have risen by 400 percent. -AFP

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