Qatar eyeing Christie's in hope of cultural boost: report

25th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

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).

© 2010 AFP

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