To commemorate the recent second anniversary of the blockade of Qatar, Qatar Museums has installed an original part of the Berlin Wall at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), through an ongoing cultural collaboration with Qatar Foundation (QF).
The work was gifted to the State of Qatar in 2017 during the Qatar Germany Year of Culture celebrations and was unveiled today at QNCC, a QF member, at a ceremony attended by HE Germanys Ambassador to the State of Qatar Hans-Udo Muzel, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Qatar Museums Ahmad Musa Al Namla, Executive Director of Strategy Administration and Projects at Community Development president office (QF) Hisham Nourin, Head of Public Art at Qatar Museums (QM) and Abdulrahman Al Ishaq.
HE the ambassador thanked the State of Qatar and thanked the Chairperson of Qatar Museums HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani. He said that the Berlin wall did not just divide Germany, but all of Europe. He then discussed bilateral ties between Germany and Qatar, and stressed that art helps connect different cultures.
Al Namla for his part said that "This remarkable object is both an authentic piece of history and a work of art, to showcase the strong relationship between the two nations, the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, and the ongoing success of the cultural exchange program of Qatar Museums."
"In recognition of the power of art to unite people, today we unveil this second segment of the wall, to be added to our Public Art program, which brings works of art outside the walls of museums and art galleries, so that Qatar Museums can encourage dialogue and creativity among everyone," he added.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nourin said: "This segment of the Berlin Wall is a perfect complement to the 150 works that comprise Qatar Foundations unique collection of art, and those that have kindly been loaned to us by Qatar Museums. All of these are on public view within Education City, reflecting the central role that art holds in our community development efforts.
The two panels unveiled at QNCC include an artwork by Thierry Noir, a French artist who is claimed to be the first street artist to have ever painted the Berlin Wall in 1984. West Berlins side of the wall gradually filled with murals detailing the German experience, a stark contrast to the East, where citizens were forbidden from nearing the wall. After the fall of the Berlin wall, graffiti became a way in which artists from all around the world would express how they felt about the division of citizens.
The displayed panels measure just over 2 meters wide, over 3.5 meters high, and just over 1 meter thick each. The concrete is reinforced with steel bars, and covered in spray painted graffiti that conveys messages of hope, freedom and change.
Image credit: Qatar Museum
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