Painting “Sarajevo“ sold for $1.14 million at Dubai auction


A 1992 painting that depicts the horrors of war by an Egyptian artist became the most expensive art piece sold during the latest of a series of auctions at Christie’s Dubai Wednesday night.

Dubbed “Sarajevo”, the masterpiece by Omar El-Nagdi, went to an anonymous Lebanese private collector for more than $1 million (Dh4.1 million), more than twice the initial price estimate of $400,000 to $600,000, and a world record for the artist.

Depicting the slaughter of Bosniaks in Sarajevo, the 11-meter long and three-meter high triptych is considered a museum masterpiece that was earlier consigned by a French collector and offered for the first time at the auction.

“[It is] undeniably the most important and the most ambitious work produced by El-Nagdi in terms of complexity, monumentality, expression and subject matter,” Christie’s said in a statement.

The painting was one of the highlights of the latest two auctions, called “Now and Ten” and “Modern and Contemporary Art”—both are part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Christie’s that realised a combined total of Dh43.6 million.