Damien Hirst goes to Royal family of Qatar

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned (both above), bought Damien Hirst’s Lullaby Spring, 2002 (detail above left), for £9.7m ($19.2m) at Sotheby’s London in June 2007. The sculpture held the auction record for the most expensive work by a living artist until it was overtaken five months later by Jeff Koons (see p44). The royal family of Qatar is now assembling a collection of modern and contemporary art; their purchases are believed to include Mark Rothko’s White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950, for which they paid $72.8m at Sotheby’s New York in May 2007, setting a record for the most expensive post-war work of art to sell at auction ever. It was consigned by David Rockefeller (p1)

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