Qatar's Sheikha al-Thani named as most influential figure in art world

The sister of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bint al-Thani, has been named as the most influential figure in the art world by ArtReview magazine.

Paul Cezanne The Card Players
The Sheikha is buying up the world's finest artworks, such as Paul Cezanne's The Card Players, to fill a museum being built from scratch in Qatar's desert

The Qatari collector is said to have around $1bn to spend on art as head of the Qatar Museum Authority, which is responsible for the recent world record purchase of Paul Cezanne's The Card Players for $250m. She was placed at the top of the list for her "sheer buying powerand what that means for the market".

$1bn is reportedly 30 times more than the annual amount the Museum of Modern Art in New York, one of the world's major institutions, allocates to acquisitions.

Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, the nephew of the (recently abdicated) Emir of Qatar, is reputedly the world's largest collector of objets d'art, who is responsible for making Qatar a cultural centre.

However, he is currently at the centre of a legal suit regarding unpaid debts to auction houses and dealers, with a lawyer involved in the case telling the Daily Mail: "He bids, wins and then doesn't pay. He is bidding when he knows he's not going to be able to pay."

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