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29 05 2008 - an auction record for a Middle Eastern artist. ..
By Matthew Brown<BR><BR>
May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian Parviz Tanavoli's ``The Wall (Oh Persepolis)'' fetched $2.84 million at a Dubai art sale, an auction record for a Middle Eastern artist. <BR>
``The Wall,'' a nearly 2-meter tall bronze sculpture covered in hieroglyphics, was the highlight of Christie's International's auction of modern and contemporary art yesterday, its fourth in the city. London-based Christie's said it sold more than $20 million of art, mainly by Arab and Iranian artists. Six works by Iranian artists were among the seven priciest lots sold. <BR>
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi's ``Tchaar-Bagh,'' an oil-and- acrylic calligraphic work, sold for $1.6 million, an auction record for a modern Middle Eastern painting. Mohammed Ehsai, another Iranian artist, also breached the million-dollar mark after fetching $1.16 million for ``He Is Merciful.'' <BR>
Auction houses are expanding into emerging markets in Russia, China and the Middle East, tapping newfound wealth in some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Crude oil, the region's main export, reached a record of $119.37 per barrel last week and has more than quadrupled in price the last four years. <BR>
``Dubai has become an established international marketplace,'' said Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie's European president, after the sale. ``Prices have been moved to new levels.'' <BR>
Buyers from the Middle East and Iran accounted for 77 percent of the total at the auction, with 17 percent from Europe and the U.K., and 6 percent from the Americas, Christie's said. Christie's sold 84 percent of the lots offered. <BR>
Art, Jewelry <BR>
Christie's has sold more than $100 million of art and jewelry at its Dubai auctions over the last two years. Its autumn sale on Oct. 31 produced an auction record for an Arab work of art when Ahmed Moustafa's ``Qu'ranic Polyptych of Nine Panels'' sold for $657,000. Mustapha broke his own record of $284,800, set at Christie's first Dubai auction in May 2006. <BR>
Moustafa's ``Meditations on the Three Themes from Sura Ya' Sin'' was the most expensive Arab work last night, fetching $421,000, compared with the presale high estimate of $400,000. <BR>
Iranian artists dominated yesterday's sale. Farhad Moshiri became the first Middle Eastern artist to sell an artwork at auction for more than $1 million when ``Love'' sold for $1.05 million at Bonhams's first Dubai auction on March 4. <BR>
Christie's raised $8.5 million at its first Dubai art auction, $9.4 million at the second sale, and $15 million at its third sale last October. <BR>
Christie's sold $20 million of watches and jewelry in Dubai on April 29, including a pearl necklace given to Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, which fetched $1.4 million. <BR>
An Abu Dhabi license plate bearing the number ``1'' sold for 52.2 million dirhams ($14 million) at a Feb. 17 auction, setting a world record, another sign of growing personal wealth in the United Arab Emirates' largest sheikhdom. <BR>
Christie's biggest rival Sotheby's has appointed a London- based manager for the Middle East, though has yet to hold a sale in the region. <BR>
To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in Dubai at <BR>

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