As chairwoman since 2006 of Qatar Museums, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani spends a lot of money on art, with an annual acquisitions budget once thought to be $1 billion. She has focused her buying power on Western modern and contemporary art, including works by Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol, feeling that it is important for aspiring young Qatari artists to see what is happening on the cutting edge of the art world. “My father [the former Emir of Qatar] often says, in order to have peace, we need to first respect each others’ cultures,” the Sheika once told the New York Times.
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