France Honors Ali Aboutaam, President of Phoenix Ancient Art

Co-founder of Leading Antiquities Dealer Presented with Prestigious Badge

of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

Nov 15, 2006, 00:00 ET from Phoenix Ancient Art

    NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Ali Aboutaam, president of Phoenix
 Ancient Art, was presented with the badge of Chevalier (Knight) of the
 Order of Arts and Letters by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the Minister of
 Culture and Communication. The honor was bestowed on September 14, 2006, in
 Paris during the Biennale des Antiquaires, one of France's most important
 art exhibitions. Phoenix Ancient Art is one of the world's leading dealers
 in rare, high quality antiquities from Western civilizations,
     Established in 1957, the Order of Arts and Letters, which is
 administered by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, is
 presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the
 arts and literature in France and throughout the world. The award is given
 out twice annually to only a few people worldwide. Past recipients of this
 prestigious award include Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Richard Meier,
 Robert Paxton, I.M. Pei, Susan Sontag, Meryl Streep, and Robert Redford.
     In his remarks during the award presentation, Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres
 noted that those in the antiquities field "are the enlightened keepers of
 these jewels that are our heritage" and the "precious transmitters of
 culture." He also commended the dealers for their "immense professionalism"
 and "passion in the exercise of such a noble profession; a profession
 which, as we are all well aware, requires great intelligence, patience, and
     Speaking directly to Mr. Aboutaam, Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres said, "You
 were 13 years-old when you bought the first coin of what is today one of
 the most beautiful coin collections. And thus, some years later, after you
 graduated as a civil engineer from the University of Saint Joseph in
 Beirut, your passion for antiquities -- a passion transmitted by your
 father and nourished by the land of your birth, which is home to the
 treasures of the Roman and Phoenician civilizations -- drove you to develop
 your career at his side, in the company he founded in 1968. In 1995, you
 started Phoenix Ancient Art with your brother, Hicham, which today is
 considered one of the world's premier galleries of Western archaeology.
 Egypt, the classical worlds of Greece and Rome, Mesopotamia, Europe and
 Central Asia have no secrets from you."
     "We are, of course, extremely proud that Ali has been personally
 recognized with this honor," said Hicham Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix
 Ancient Art, "But perhaps even more gratifying is the fact that the French
 Ministry of Culture is acknowledging the contribution that professional
 antiquities dealers make to the arts and to our understanding of Western
     With galleries in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland, Phoenix
 Ancient Art ( is one of the world's
 leading dealers in rare and exquisite antiquities from cultures that make
 up the essence of Western Civilization. Its works of art have been
 purchased by world-class museums around the globe, as well as by private
 individuals. Formally incorporated in 1995, Phoenix Ancient Art is a
 second-generation family business that was founded by Sleiman Aboutaam in
 1968 and continues today under the leadership of his sons, Hicham and Ali.

SOURCE Phoenix Ancient Art