Doha will be hosting 70 events in the first three months of 2010 as the city takes its seat as the Arab Capital of Culture next year, an official said.
The Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, said his Ministry is now in the process of finishing its plans for the first three months of 2010, which will be announced after the Eid Al Fitr.
“We will cover culture from all aspects and levels: the Arabic level and the international level… and the plans we have include those related to the fine arts, films, opera, music-related events,” said Al Kuwari during the art exhibition, “Opera Gallery Opens Your Heart in Qatar,” which was launched to the public yesterday at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel.
Al Kuwari said the exhibit was important as it is part of the awareness the Qatari government is working on to promote Arabic and international culture.
Around a hundred guests viewed the 53 paintings of the masters mixed with contemporary artworks during the exhibit that was formally opened by Al Kuwari and the French Ambassador Gilles Bonnaud.
At the end of the exhibit, around seven to 10 paintings were already reserved and three were sold, said Bertrand Epaud, General Manager of the Opera Gallery.
The paintings include a $1.5m landscape by Alfred Sisley, a $550,000 picturesque painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a $7.5m oil painting and a $178,800 drawing by Pablo Picasso, a $300,000 sketch by Henri Matisse, haunting and exuberant works by Marc Chagall (one priced at $57,000 and the other $635,000), and a striking creation by Salvador Dali priced at $85,000.
“This is a display from the works of the masters from the 13th century down to the 20th century. We decided to do this during Ramadan because we wanted to do something for the community in Qatar,” said Epaud. He said part of the proceeds of the exhibit will be donated to the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs to finance their Art Therapy Department.
Epaud said 15 percent of the proceeds of the contemporary work and five percent from the proceeds of the masters will be donated to Shafallah. The expo showcases two oil paintings from the Impressionists Renoir and Sisley. Sisley’s “Le long du bois en automne” will feature his love for landscapes. Renoir’s “Entrée de village avec femme et enfant,” which was acquired from a private collection, is an oil on canvas.
One of the Picassos in the collection, the “L’enfant au béret ecossaise,” an oil on plywood, was acquired by Jacqueline Picasso’s (Picasso’s daughter) collection, Mougins, France. The other Picasso, a pencil drawing on paper, is “Portrait de Martin Fabiani.” The exhibition, which is a collaboration between The Opera Gallery in Dubai, the French Embassy, the Doha Grand Hyatt, Qatar Foundation and the Shafallah Center, will run until September 20.
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