72-year-old Sayed Azmathullah, a Hyderabad-based artist who creates crystal paintings of well-known personalities, was cheated by a Qatari man who took his paintings on the pretext of exhibiting them but instead showcased them as his own. The alleged fraudster deceived Sayed of 11 paintings in total and has not paid him for six of his crystal portraits, the artist said.
Back in 2017, Sayed was allegedly approached by the Qatari artist Abdul Salam Al-Qadi. Between October 2017 and April 2018, Abdul Salam allegedly procured 11 paintings from Sayed, of which he paid for five.
The artist said he initially thought Abdul Salam was planning to exhibit the paintings, but he realised recently that Abdul Salam was claiming that the paintings were his own. Sayed said government officials in the United Kingdom informed him that various Gulf-based media reports mentioned Abdul Salam as the artist of two paintings: the Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem and another of Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I was invited to the UK Parliament to showcase my work and they were the ones who informed me that someone else does similar artwork. That's when I got to know that Abdul has passed off some of my work as his own " said Sayed, who uses Swarovski crystals imported from Austria for his paintings.
Two of the paintings, composed of crystals, were even allegedly gifted to President Erdogan by Abdul Salam as a gift from Qatar to Turkey. After learning about Abdul's alleged duplicity, Sayed approached the Hussaini Alam police station in Hyderabad earlier this month with a complaint against him.