Ayman Baalbaki, American Embassy (2011). Bonhams, Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, London, 1 May. Estimate £70,000-£100,000. This visceral work by the Lebanese painter Ayman Baalbaki depicts the 1983 destruction of the American Embassy in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war—at the time, the deadliest attack on a US diplomatic mission. Baalbaki, whose own Beirut house was destroyed by Israeli forces in 2006, often addresses the aftermath of war in his work and this painting shows the embassy razed to the ground with only the American flag unscathed. Nima Sagharchi, Bonhams’ head of sales, says Baalbaki uses “the destruction of buildings as a metaphor for strife”, but also “to provide a glimmer of hope”. A similar Baalbaki canvas sold at Christie’s Dubai in 2015 for £233,000—but perhaps that sum was a one-off.