RAMALLAH—Drive six miles north of Jerusalem and into the hills of the central West Bank and you’ll find the city of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian National Authority and also an up-and-coming capital for contemporary art in the Middle East.
Ramallah is new to the international art scene, but interest in Palestinian art is hardly a recent phenomenon. Palestinian artists are regulars on the contemporary arts circuit, featured at the most important biennales, auction houses and museums worldwide: Venice and Art Basel, the Guggenheim and the Tate Modern, Sotheby’s and Christies. "Palestinian artists have always been included in our auctions," says Ruba Asfahani, Director of Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art at Sotheby’s. "Artists from Palestine are an intrinsic part of the contemporary art scene in the Middle East."
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