Faeq Hassan, Untitled (Salah Al-Din, presumably Battle of Hattin), 1968. Photo: Christie’s

Christie’s Pulls Painting from Dubai Auction over Ownership Dispute

On Thursday, March 16, Christie’s announced that it removed a painting by late Iraqi artist Faeq Hassan from its upcoming modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art auction in Dubai because of a dispute over ownership, AFP reports. Iraqi authorities claim that the work belongs to the state.

Maysoon al-Damluji, Iraqi parliament member and head of the Commission for Culture and Information, said that the oil painting had been smuggled out of the country and that it was originally displayed in the officers’ club at the defense ministry. Christie’s has requested proof of ownership for the work.

“We have witnesses who say the painting was on display at the officers’ club,” al-Damluji said. “It is part of Iraqi heritage.” Christie’s had listed the work, which is estimated to be worth between $400,000 and $500,000, as one of the highlights of the auction.

Alexandra Kindermann, senior communications director at the auction house, confirmed that Untitled (Salah Al-Din, presumably Battle of Hattin), 1968, has been withdrawn.