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Culture & Religion

Ambitious Art in Abu Dhabi

“The Abu Dhabi art fair offers a glimpse of the emirate’s impressive cultural ambitions.” The city will soon host branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.

A few American dealers [at the Abu Dhabi art fair] described feeling like they were making a pilgrimage to present their wares to the king. Though it was not entirely clear whom they were meant to impress when it came to acquisitions. The patron of the art fair was his highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. Art and arms might seem like an unusual pair of responsibilities until one considers the ambassadorial potential of modern art, which can be used as a bridge to the west and a hedge against religious fundamentalism.


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