LONDON — This first ever auction of Contemporary Armenian at Christie’s was held on 9th December, bringing together the works of some of the most brilliant Armenian artists. The proceeds of the auction will benefit heritage-led regeneration and social impact projects in Armenia. Viscount Linley, President of Christie’s, warmly welcomed the guests during the reception before the auction. “The generous support you can give at this evening’s auction of spectacular art,” he said, “will help to preserve Armenia’s vast architectural heritage, an integral part of the soul of the country, and will ensure the continuation of traditional architecture and craftsmanship for future generations.” The charity auction was organised for the benefit of the creation of a sanctuary and clinic for single mothers and disadvantaged children in the heart of Yerevan, which is part of the “Yerevan My Love” project. The centre will have well-equipped modern facilities and will provide professional social and health services to destitute mothers and children. The auction was hosted by Dr. Armenia Armen Sarkissian, former Prime Minister of Armenia and president of “Yerevan My Love” Foundation, who highlighted the charitable nature of the auction and noted that for the first time in Christie’s nearly 250 year history, Armenian Art has finally arrived at one of the world’s finest auction houses. “This auction at Christie’s nearly 40 years after the opening of the first Modern Art Museum in Yerevan is yet another milestone and historic event as it exposes Armenian artists to an international audience,” remarked Sarkissian. Her Excellency Karine Kazinyan, Armenia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, in her address highlighted the significance of the charity auction on the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and encouraged everyone present to be generous. Hugh Edmeades, International Director of Auctioneering at Christie’s, led the auction in an exciting atmosphere. A number of paintings saw fierce competition of bids, especially works by Hagop Hagopyan, Narek Avetissyan, Ararat Sargsyan and Hamlet Hovsepyan. In addition to the benefactors and supporters of Yerevan My Love, the international audience included participants from Europe, the United States, Russia and Armenia, as well as bids placed over the phone. The vast majority of the works were sold on the night. Following the auction, Armen Sarkissian hosted a private dinner for the benefactors of Yerevan My Love, VIPs and executives of Christie’s at the Cut restaurant in Mayfair. He thanked everyone who had taken part in the auction and especially the benefactors who have supported Yerevan My Love over the years. ‘Yerevan My Love’ is dedicated to preserving architecturally significant buildings in Yerevan and putting them to use to improve the life experience of disabled children, young people and disadvantaged families. Following the successful fundraising in Windsor Castle (2010) and Buckingham Palace (2011), three buildings in the vicinity of St. Hovhanes Church in the Kond neighbourhood of Yerevan are being built and reconstructed. Three additional buildings will be reconstructed in the Old Yerevan neighbourhood as part of the second phase of ‘Yerevan My Love project’.

“Totem with jewellery”, sculpture by Albert Vardanyan. (Photo by Tigran Tovmansyan)
“The Family” by Hagop Hagopyan. (Photo by Tigran Tovmansyan)
(R to L) Rodania Leong, Christie’s Russian Department; Alice van Cutsem, Christie’s Events; Hratch Tchilingirian, Trustee of ‘Yerevan My Love’ Charitable Foundation; Matthew Stephenson, Managing Director of Christie’s Russia; Armen Sarkissian (in auctioneer’s podium), initiator and host of the charity auction; Viscount Linley, President of Christie’s; Hugh Edmeades, International Director of Auctioneering; Emily James, Christie’s Events. (Photo by Tigran Tovmansyan)
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