Bunhill: Portrait of Asil as an art collector

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The Independent Online
ASIL NADIR does not have to rely solely on Michael Mates's watch to console him in his lonely exile in northern Cyprus. He almost certainly has with him a number of lovely redheads, some unclothed. These, I hasten to add, are pictures, not persons. They were not part of the haul of art objects found by the receivers, but are certainly part of the fugitive financier's assets.

Many of the paintings, by relatively little-known Symbolist artists such as Carl Prieur and Louis Picard, were bought at a sale at Christie's in December 1989. A former Christie's employee remembers taking bids on the phone from Nadir. After the tycoon had bid hard and high for a number of such pics, the Christie's man remarked: 'You seem to be fond of redheads.' There followed a deathly silence before he resumed his bidding.

(Photograph omitted)