The tragic explosion in Beirut affected local businesses from essential services to restaurants, fashion and even the arts - shattering buildings and centres. British auction house, Christie’s has just announced it will support Beirut's throbbing art community with a charity auction.
Dubbed We Are All Beirut - Art for Beirut: A Charity Auction, the online auction will take place from late October to the first half of November.
"Seeing the images of devastation on Tuesday 4 August will always remain in all our collective memory and our thoughts are with all families, friends and artists who have lost so much. We hope to raise enough funds with this initiative to make a significant difference,"CEO at Christie’s, Guillaume Cerutti, commented, continuing "we are committed to help and hope that many of our international clients, friends and collectors will follow our call to action."
According to Caroline Louca-Kirkland, Managing Director at Christie’s Middle East, the initiative will include approximately 40 to 50 lots of international and regional art, jewellery, design and watches. Funds will be allocated to restore the city’s art and cultural community, including the Sursock museum - Beirut's modern and contemporary art museum.
“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,” Kirkland added.
It's not the first time Christie's staged a charity auction in the Middle East. In 2004, Christie's raised $1.3 million for the “Camel Caravan Charity auction.” In 2019, the British house partnered with the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to conduct “Art for Al Balad,” which raised $1.3 million in aid of SAR for a new heritage Museum in Jeddah’s Historical District, a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Michael Jeha, Chairman at Christie’s Middle East noted "Lebanese art has been at the heart of our Middle Eastern auctions 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. We have been so affected by the solidarity shown and the sincere wishes to help that Christie’s has received in the past week.”