GCC states long-term cultural plans propels new museums
October 17, 2013 - 10:04:54 am
ABU DHABI: Long-term vision and planning backed by financing is creating a new range of cultural institutions in the GCC that will occupy prominent places among the world's museums, UAE news agency WAM said Thursday citing a report.
Abu Dhabi-based English language daily 'The National' said, "Artefacts are often timeless, museums themselves cannot stop the flow of time, and powerful trends are bringing new challenges to the global museum establishment.
"Some of the biggest of these developments promise good things for the cultural sector in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the Arabian Gulf countries."
"The Louvre Abu Dhabi is now rising from a bustling construction site on Saadiyat Island, and projects for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum.
To celebrate the country’s founder and its natural and human history, are not far behind: the Zayed Museum is to open in 2016, the Guggenheim one year later. Meanwhile Dubai’s planned opera house district is to include a modern art museum," The National said.
The UAE is not alone. Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art, in the upmarket district of capital Doha is already world-famous and a new National Museum of Qatar designed, like Abu Dhabi's Louvre, by French architect Jean Nouvel.
The National Museum of Qatar which is currently under construction is inspired by the desert sand rose and grows organically around the former palace.
This 21st century institution will celebrate the culture, heritage and future of Qatar and its people.
It reflects and belongs to a new era in Qatari prosperity, the country's prominent role in the Arabian Gulf community and its world standing.
Around the world, museums are the time capsules of civilisation, preserving and explaining the best of human accomplishment and understanding.
From ancient pottery to space flight to artworks made on computers, museums are the repositories where humankind protects and presents its best.
"Many museums are languishing in other parts of the world. Across the West, hard times and government deficits have forced some institutions to impose or increase turnstile fees, reducing attendance," The National report said.
"Museums in Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad have had grave problems because of violence."
In bankrupt Detroit, the city-owned Institute of Art may be forced to auction off many artworks."
"The United Kingdom has cut grants to its museums by 15 percent since 2010. In Spain, 18,700 people applied for 11 guard jobs at the Prado."
"Major western museums are still crowded, some more so than ever."
And as the UAE's Guggenheim and Louvre demonstrate, the rest of the world still has much to learn from western expertise in the field."
"But it is not difficult to discern a change. As cultural tourism grows worldwide, as GCC cities grow in importance, and as the world becomes more aware of Arab culture and history, museums will become an increasingly important element of the region's allure," The National report concluded. (QNA)