Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

Buying works of art

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This morning’s New York Times featured yet another negative and patronising article about Qatar. This piece was about Sheikha Myassa, the sister of the Emir and her buying power in the international art world.

Qatar has purchased many works of art, both old and contemporary, in recent years. The enormous wealth of Qatar means it can effectively outbid any one else. This is very much as The Getty Museum did during previous decades.

The article and many similar ones in recent months, is very sniffy about the desire of Qatar to play a leading international role both culturally and politically, and in this instance their reasons for purchasing these artworks, as if the Arab world should not be able to acquire these pieces.

The article talks of the Sheikha as having ‘a round face’, a completely unnecessary, irrelevant and sexist description.

The museums of the western world are full of artefacts liberated from their countries of origin over many centuries. Qatar has some catching up to do, but at least it is paying for the artworks, not just removing them.


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