DOHA: A number of Qatari artists’ paintings, some of which were by famous Qatari painters, were found abandoned at the underground car park in Katara last National Sport Day, according to a report in Al Raya and social media.
The shocking discovery angered artists and the public asking why such neglect happened to the paintings, which were found without their frames, and why they were not returned to the artists after the exhibition.
Qatari artist Mohammad Al Hammadi stumbled upon the paintings when he decided to park his car at the underground parking area because of shortage of parking space during National Sport Day.
He was disheartened how the Qatar Fine Arts Association just left the paintings at the parking area, frameless and damaged. “The paintings have been rid of their frames, as if the frames were more valuable than the paintings,” he said.
Despite the disappointing situation, he praised Katara’s response immediately conducting an investigation on the issue, while the concerned body has not given any reaction. “The least the association can do is apologise to the artists,” he said.
Upon seeing the paintings, Al Hammadi, started checking the signatures of the painters and called Fatima Al Nesf, one of the artists who had been asking the association to return her paintings.
Al Nesf said the paintings were part of a group exhibition organised by the association four years ago and since then she had been asking them for her paintings but to no avail.
At that time, she came to know one of her paintings was sold to the Ministry of Culture for QR4,000 without her permission.
“I told the Ministry I was not selling any of my paintings and asked them to bring them back. And on Tuesday last week, one of my colleagues found one of the paintings with my signature and immediately called me,” she recalled.
Upon discovery, Al Hammadi took photos and video of the paintings and immediately posted them on the net via social media, generating furore from Qatari netizens.
One of them accused the association of destroying Qatari artists’ works, while another said the issue had already reached the judiciary.
“It is a shame to neglect these paintings, on which the artists have spent a lot of time and effort. It is disappointing to see them thrown away like they were of no value,” said one of the netizens.
After photos were posted online, the paintings were removed immediately from the car park.
“I feel sad that some of my paintings have been damaged and the frames removed. It’s really sad to see how much the Qatari Fine Arts Association is neglecting our contributions. They are not giving value to artworks, some of which are by well known artists,” said Al Nesf, who is planning to take legal action against the Association.
Khulod Al Ali, another artist, said after the expo in 2011, she made every effort to get her paintings back.
“Many times they refused to give them back saying the paintings were well stored,” she recalls.
“It’s really sad to find that these paintings are found in the parking area. If they don’t have enough space, why not return them? They don’t know how much effort we spent to create these paintings,” said Al Ali, adding the Association should have a database of these paintings. The Peninsula