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Posted On: 17 March 2009 09:31 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

A cultural push for the Gulf

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A seven-day journey through the art galleries and museums in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Contemparabia, began here yesterday with a Global Art Forum at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). Contemparabia is a joint initiative of the Qatar Museums Authority, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Art Dubai, the Sharjah Biennial and the Tourism Development Investment Company Abu Dhabi. The seven-day event provides a unique opportunity for international collectors, artists, curators, museum directors and the media to experience the extent of cultural activities in the Gulf. As an annual focus for the vibrant art scene developing within the Gulf, Contemparabia will offer a platform for institutions to reach a wide audience, establishing a key date on the international art calendar. “The role of museums has changed a lot over time,” said Roger Mandle, Director, inaugurating the Global Art Forum. “The museum has become an integral part of building a society. Enormous energy is needed to build a society. A museum does this through bringing the past and present together. Museums of today find out what society needs and conceives it in a new way. They have been turned inside out, from what was a passive viewing venue to an active educating arena. The MIA has been successful in this with the museum and has built bridges of understanding across different boundaries, as it was planned to be by its visionaries,” he said. The event included tours for critics, artists, curators, and collectors from around the world through the various galleries of MIA. The event has attracted a record number of regional and international art lovers. An exceptional programme of events, exhibitions, talks, tours and performances taking place in Doha, Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi will give visitors an opportunity to experience the outstanding quality and vibrancy of the region’s art scene. The first day of Global Art Forum included sessions which debated the need for museums, the opportunities for artists in the region, creating audiences and various other aspects related to museum building and their activities for the society.