Source: Tehran Times
TEHRAN -- Christie's managing director in the Middle East has denied rumors that Arabs are unwilling to purchase works by Iranian artists at Christie's auctions.
Arabs have been among the big buyers of Iranian artworks since May 2006, when Christie's held its first auction in the Middle East in Dubai, Michael Jeha told the Persian service of Honaronline, a Persian art news website, in an interview published on Sunday.
He said that it is the Iranians who show less interest in purchasing works by Arab artists.
Jeha added that Christie's has tried to connect all the regions in the Middle East to one another through art and introduce them as a significant identity in the international arena.
He further noted that countries like Iran, Lebanon and Egypt have had strong markets in art, but nobody knew what they did and Christie's has been able to bring their potentials together.
Jeha also said that in the recent auctions several Iranians have bought works by Arab artists, something he called an important event.
The director also talked about doubts lying behind the authenticity of several works offered at Christie's and said that during the past 10 years, over 3,000 artworks have been offered with less than even a one percent doubt of their authenticity.
He also explained that the artworks go through several examinations by experts before they go under the hammer at the auctions, adding that the images of the works are published in a catalogue and appear on the website about one month before they go for sale. Thousands of visitors have access to those images and if they doubt their authenticity, they can inform the Christie's officials.
If any individual claims an artwork is not original, he must have academic and compelling reasons, and Christie's would warmly welcome any new ideas, he concluded.
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