News ID: 322910
Published: 0230 GMT July 15, 2022

Qatar ramps up cultural program ahead of FIFA World Cup

Qatar ramps up cultural program ahead of FIFA World Cup

Qatar is gearing up for the FIFA football world cup in November with a raft of cultural initiatives designed to boost the small oil-rich state’s soft power status. Crucially, more details have been revealed about the major museums in development including the Art Mill initiative, a vast new modern and contemporary art venue planned for Doha. The venue, which will be housed in a former flour mill, is due to open in 2030 (the plan was first announced in 2015).

In a press statement, Qatar Museums say that “the vision and the definition of the museum [is] conceived by [the French art historian] Catherine Grenier”, the director of the Fondation Giacometti in Paris. In 2017, Grenier curated the exhibition ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ at the Fire Station in Doha, which brought together more than 120 works by the two artists,

A preview exhibition called ‘Art Mill Museum 2030’ is due to open at two locations, the Qatar Flour Mill Warehouse and Al Najada Heritage House, Doha (24 October 2022 to 30 March 2023). The show will focus on “the architecture [of the Art Mill Museum] by the Chilean studio Elemental, led by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena”.

The statement adds: “The museum will house an exceptional and completely international collection constituted over the last 40 years with multidisciplinary works of great diversity, dating from 1830 to the present.”

Meanwhile, Xavier Dectot, former director of the Louvre-Lens Museum in northern France, was appointed director of another planned Qatar mega-museum, the Lusail Museum, late in 2020. Dectot was appointed head of the department of art and design at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2016.

The Lusail Museum, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, will be “home to the world’s most extensive collection of Orientalist paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, rare texts, and applied arts,” adds the statement. “The exhibition, anchored in Lusail, home of Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani, founder of Qatar, will explore moments of encounter and the vast networks across the Indian Ocean World which make connections possible.”

Qatar Museums also announced last year that more than 40 new and commissioned public works will go on show throughout Doha as part of a mass public art program complementing the football events. These works will go on display “in a variety of public spaces including parks and shopping areas, educational and athletic facilities, Hamad International Airport and Q-Rail stations, as well as select stadiums that will host the World Cup Games”.



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