Qatar Today - - CULTURE > DOHA DIARY -

With the ac­tive pa­tron­age of art and cul­ture by the royal fam­ily, it was only im­per­a­tive that the coun­try played host to a range of artists and ar­chi­tects at the three day In­ter­na­tional New York Times ‘Art for To­mor­row' con­fer­ence, held at the W Ho­tel.

Or­gan­ised un­der the pa­tron­age of Her Ex­cel­lency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Ha­mad bin Khal­ifa Al Thani, Chair­per­son, Qatar Mu­se­ums, and the Min­istry of Cul­ture, Arts and Her­itage of Qatar, the con­fer­ence re­flected the grow­ing in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion for Qatar's con­tri­bu­tion to dia­logue and progress through art, and showed Qatar Mu­se­ums' suc­cess in be­com­ing a vi­brant cen­tre for the arts, cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa im­pressed the packed hall with her key­note ad­dress where she high­lighted the im­por­tance of cul­ture and its growth as be­ing a di­rect re­flec­tion of the growth of the econ­omy. While Qatar has been cre­at­ing a lo­cal nar­ra­tive that is di­verse, it also re­minds each one of us of who we are and what we are, she said. She called on re­gional cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions to work to­gether. “Art has no reli­gion and comes in dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions,” she said.

Over 500 se­nior lead­ers from the arts, public and pri­vate sec­tors, tourism ex­perts, city plan­ners and busi­ness de­vel­op­ers were in at­ten­dance to dis­cuss the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of art and ar­chi­tec­ture, and their po­ten­tial to trans­form peo­ple and places. Cel­e­brated artist Jeff Koons talked about art be­ing a cul­mi­na­tion of life's ex­pe­ri­ences, ar­chi­tect Zaha Ha­did threw light on her projects and the in­spi­ra­tion she has drawn from na­ture in designing each of them, while Jean Nou­vel ex­plained how he in­cor­po­rated el­e­ments of Is­lamic art into the Doha Tower.

Top: High-rank­ing Qatari dig­ni­taries at the open­ing of Art of To­mor­row in­clud­ing HE Ha­mad bin Ab­du­laziz Al Kuwari, HE Ak­bar Al Baker, and HE Sheikh Ab­dulla bin Ali Al Thani; Be­low: Arthur O Sulzberger Jr, Chair­man & Pub­lisher, The New York Times Com­pany & The New York Times; Jeff Koons, Artist; and, Jean Nou­vel, Ar­chi­tect were among the world-renowned fig­ures who at­tended the event

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