Qatar says it may buy Christie's auction house to bolster its cultural credentials.
Qatar eyes Christie's auction house
DOHA // Qatar may buy Christie's auction house to bolster its cultural credentials, the Financial Times said today.
Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, told the newspaper that buying the auction house would fit in with plans to make the tiny state, the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter, a cultural destination.
"We are building a museum, and it (Christie's) has links with the stuff we are collecting for our museum," he was quoted as saying. "It depends on the opportunity – if we had a good opportunity we would not hesitate."
Christie's is owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault.
In the past year alone, Qatar, through its sovereign wealth fund, has taken a 10 per cent in Volkswagen AG, bought famed London department store Harrods, acquired Singapore's historic Raffles hotel as well as the landmark US embassy building in London.