DOHA Oct 25 Qatar, the wealthy Gulf Arab state
whose foreign assets include London property and investments in
Volkswagen, may buy Christie's auction house to bolster its
cultural credentials, the Financial Times said on Monday.
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-percent in Volkswagen AG, bought famed
London department store Harrods, acquired Singapore's historic
Raffles hotel as well as the landmark U.S. embassy building in
(Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Will Waterman)