Once widely regarded as the world’s richest and most powerful art collector, Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Qatar died suddenly at his home in London on November 9, age 48. Details of his death have not been announced, although initial reports say it was from natural causes. A cousin of the Qatar’s current Emir, Sheikh Al-Thani served as the country’s president of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage, from 1997 to 2005. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of the oil-rich nation’s ambitious plans to build an extensive network of new schools, libraries, and museums. He also spent well over $1 billion on art purchases during that period, more than any other individual, according to many art-market observers.
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