Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Qatar splurges on modern art despite conservatism  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 30/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Energy-rich Qatar is gaining a foothold on the global cultural scene by lavishing billions of dollars on renowned artworks, but some could prove controversial in the deeply conservative Gulf monarchy.

Damien Hirst's "Miraculous Journey" -- a group of 14 bronze foetus sculptures -- makes an unlikely addition to the landscape of Doha, installed in front of a medical centre on the outskirts of the capital. Out in the middle of the desert, a large abstract sculpture by American artist Richard Serra rises up from the sand.

The deep-pocketed emirate, which has massive natural gas reserves, is pursuing world-famous art with the same vigour it has brought to attracting international sporting events, including football's 2022 World Cup.

Sheikha Al-Mayassa, a sister of emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has led the push for art, and recently inaugurated Serra's "East-west/West-east" -- four 15-metre-high (50-foot) steel plates in the desert, reachable only by off-road vehicle.

Serra's "7" -- a monumental work of seven 24-metre-high steel plates -- rises up from a pier extending into Doha's harbour from the park of the Museum of Islamic Art, which was designed by the famed architect I.M. Pei.

The towering sculpture was inspired by a minaret in Afghanistan and portrays the spiritual and scientific significance of the number seven in Islamic culture, according to the museum.

- Modern-day Medicis -

"Being able to build '7' and being able to build the piece in the desert at this scale is like meeting the Medicis in the 15th century," said Serra, referring to the Florentine family's patronage of Renaissance artists.

"Those kinds of opportunities are rarely given to an individual. In my country art comes after football and entertainment," he added.

Sheikha Al-Mayassa, who heads the Qatar Museums Authority, is well-known in the art world thanks to the large sums she has spent on acquiring masterpieces.

Last year London's Art Review magazine called her the most influential personality in the field of contemporary art, saying she spends about a billion dollars on artwork every year.

The QMA declined to confirm the figure, just as it has not disclosed the cost of several works, including Paul Cezanne's "The Card Players," which is said have fetched a record 250 million (180 million euros).

The authority has invited top architects to design five museums for the capital.

Pei, the celebrated Chinese-born American architect behind the Louvre Pyramid, designed the Museum of Islamic Art with Cairo's mediaeval Ibn Tulun Mosque in mind, while France's Jean Nouvel has been asked to design the National Museum of Qatar.

In 2010 the emirate established the first museum devoted to modern Arab art.

"To choose these incredible artists, and to choose great architects and create the Museum of Islamic Art... That really takes a vision," said Jean-Paul Engelen, director of QMA's public art division.

- Clashing with conservatism? -

The avant-garde vision of Sheikha Al-Mayassa sometimes appears to be on a collision course with the emirate's deeply conservative populace.

Conservative interpretations of Islam forbid the portrayal of the human form, equating it with idolatry.

In October, the QMA had to remove a statue of the infamous headbutt of French footballer Zinedine Zidane against Italian Marco Materazzi after it was installed on the Doha sea front.

The five-metre sculpture by artist Adel Abdessemed triggered a wave of complaints on social media networks, with many viewing it as a violation of Islam.

Tareq al-Jaidah, director of the Katara Art Centre, says it may take time for Qataris to fully embrace the government's grand artistic vision.

"It is something new and people have yet to be introduced to it. Let's take our time, let's not rush it," he said.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 31 2015 - Telecoms consider Gulf markets after poor Q2MENAFN
(MENAFN) Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed yesterday as a series of disappointing corporate earnings reports, especially in the telecommunications sector. Saudi Arabia's main index inched down ...

 Jul 31 2015 - Tunisia cuts own growth estimationMENAFN
(MENAFN) Tunisia has cut its 2015 growth forecast to 0.5% this year, down from an expected 1%, its finance minister said yesterday.Tourism revenues represent about 7% of the economy, and, adding to ...

 Jul 31 2015 - Vodafone Qatar increase plans stay on trackMENAFN
(MENAFN) Vodafone Qatar, which has witnessed a 5% jump in customer base to USD 1.42mn in the first three months of this year.Revenue was down 8% to QR537.9mn and mobile average revenue per user.The ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Egypt- Trial of businessman Ehab Talaat postponedqDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The trial of prominent businessman Ehab Talaat was postponed to 26 December on Tuesday for an expert report on the matter.Talaat is being sued by the Al-Ahram Foundation ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Egypt participates in UN counter-terrorism meetingDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) An Egyptian delegation participated Tuesday in the UN counter-terrorism meeting in the Spanish capital, Madrid, and discussed efforts to tackle militancy.Egypt also ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Egyptian court postpones verdict in Al Jazeera journalists' retrialDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) A court in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, has postponed the verdict in the retrial of three Al Jazeera journalists, jailed for aiding a terrorist organization with false ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Egypt- 'Will justice be served this Thursday?' (1):JournalistsDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) An Egyptian court will conclude one of Egypt's most hotly debated cases since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013, and one of the longest trials the ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Al-Jazeera re-trial case adjourned to 2 AugustDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Egyptian court was to conclude Thursday one of Egypt's most debated cases since the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood's regime, also among the longest trial the ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Egypt- Trial against Fatima Naoot continuesDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The prosecution at the Sayeda Zeinab Misdemeanour Court decided on Wednesday to postpone the case against Fatima Naoot, who is charged with contempt of religion.In turn, ...

 Jul 30 2015 - Ooredoo Oman profit up 18.7 percent in H1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Omani Qatari Telecommuni-cations Company (Ooredoo), has reported an 18.7 percent increase in its net profit for the first half of this year.The company's revenues for the first half of 2015 ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help