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Art defies global slump...

art-and-culture Updated: Oct 30, 2009 20:25 IST

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Auction house Christie’s fetched 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.

Mustafa’s Remembrance and Gratitude broke his own record registered in a similar auction in 2007. Indian artist Tyeb Mehta’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. MF Husain’s Untitled painting fetched $ 37,500.

The jewellery highlighted at the auction were a pair of diamond earrings, each weighing slightly more than 15 carats, with an estimated value 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 per cent.