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Published: Thursday, 6/23/2011

Christie's chairman quits post


LONDON -- Edward J. Dolman, chairman of Christie's International, is leaving the auction house to join the board of the Qatar Museums Authority.

A Christie's employee for 27 years, Dolman will be working directly for the emir's daughter, Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, as the executive director of her office, the London-based auction house said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

Dolman, 51, became chairman of Christie's last September when Steven Murphy, the former president and chief executive of the U.S.-based publishing company Rodale, Inc., succeeded him as CEO.

Dolman had been appointed CEO in December, 1999 after spending several years as a European furniture specialist.

Qatar's museums authority administers collections of Islamic art, Orientalist paintings, natural history, photography, armor, Islamic coins, costumes, and jewelry.

Last October, the emir said he may be interested in acquiring the London-based auction house, the Financial Times reported, after months of speculation about a possible Qatari bid. Christie's remains a private company owned by the French billionaire Francois Pinault.

The new National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel, is scheduled to open in December, 2014, according to the authority's Web site. Members of the Qatari royal family have been active buyers of Western modern and contemporary art in recent years.

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