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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:02 UK

Egypt painting nets Middle Eastern record auction price

Les Chadoufs by Mahmud Said
The painting was sold for a record price for a Middle Eastern artwork

A work by an Egyptian painter has been sold for $2.4m (£1.6m) at an auction in Dubai - a record price for an artist from the Middle East.

The painting by Mahmud Said, called Les Chadoufs, shows Egyptian peasants drawing water from the Nile.

Christie's, the auctioneers, had originally estimated the painting's value at up to $200,000 (£131,500).

The painting was put up for auction by the former mayor of Jeddah, while the identity of the buyer is unknown.

The auction as a whole raised over $15m (£9.9m), more than double the total value of another art sale in Dubai last year.

Buyers

Christie's has put the slump in auction values last year down to the global financial crisis.

Another artwork by Mr Said went on sale at the auction on Tuesday night, reaching $900,000 (£594,000).

Most of the buyers were from the Middle East, Christie's said, but others came from the US, Europe and Asia.

The record-breaking painting was one of 25 being sold by Mohammed Said Farsi, a former mayor of the Saudi port town of Jeddah.

Altogether, Mr Farsi's paintings fetched $8.7m (£5.7m).

Mr Said, credited with being the creator of the modern Egyptian school of painting, died in 1964 aged 67.

Les Chadoufs was painted in 1934 and is considered his masterpiece.



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