DUBAI: Christie’s Dubai is holding a charity auction to help Lebanon rebuild its cultural scene in Beirut.
The online auction, staged under the title “WE ARE ALL BEIRUT — Art for Beirut: A Charity Auction,” will be held in late October to the first half of November 2020.
“Beirut has always been one of the most vibrant and creative capital of the Middle East and had the chance to call its own some of the best artists of the region in past and present times,” said Caroline Louca-Kirland, Managing Director Christie’s Middle East to Arab News. “The art scene in Beirut combines all the cultural fabric of an active ecosystem, artists, museums, galleries, foundations, collectors and patrons.”
“Lebanon — its people, its culture and its creative community— has contributed so significantly to the wider art landscape and this sale provides an opportunity to demonstrate the extensive and long-term support and affinity that both the region and international communities have for the rebuilding of Lebanon’s cultural destinations,” said Caroline Louca-Kirland, managing director, Christie’s Middle East.
Louca-Kirkland also noted that the Christie’s initiative would include about 40 to 50 lots of international and regional art, jewelry, design and watches to raise significant funds to help rebuild the city’s art and cultural community, including Beirut’s historic Sursock Museum.
Christie’s held its first charity sale in the Middle East in 2004. Titled “Camel Caravan Charity auction,” it raised $1.3 million. The most recent auction, “Art for Al Balad,” was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia in June 2019 and raised $1.3 million for a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historical district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The proceeds will directly benefit the rebuilding of the art community in Beirut, including the Sursock museum,” said Louca-Kirland to Arab News. “We will be working with a couple of NGOs focused on the arts, to act as the pooling bodies to support the community and respond to the recent events.”
Tomorrow Christie’s Dubai will begin a social media campaign titled ‘In Memorandum’ to shine a light on Lebanon’s creative industry. Additionally, the auction house will stage a series of webinars and articles to highlight the importance of the artistic scene in Beirut. “These events are but a small token but if each one of us is doing something, together we will achieve something important for Beirut,” said Louca-Kirkland.
“Lebanese art has been at the heart of our Middle Eastern auctions since 2006 and Christie’s feels a deep sense of responsibility to be part of the global efforts to help rebuild Beirut, a city so rich in culture,” said Michael Jeha, chairman, Christie’s Middle East. “We have been so affected by the solidarity shown and the sincere wishes to help that Christie’s has received in the past week.”