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Art for Doha’s new airport

Dealers are bound by confidentiality agreements, but conversations are under way with major European and US artists

A rendering of Hamad International Airport

Major international artists are being commissioned to create public works of art for the new 600,000 sq. m Hamad International Airport, which is due to open in Qatar this month.

There will be 14 commissions by national and international artists, according to the local blog Marhaba. “The airport commissions are exciting,” says a spokeswoman for the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), although she declined to comment further.

Dealers are bound by confidentiality agreements, but The Art Newspaper understands that conversations are under way with major European and US artists. Details of the works, which have been commissioned by Jean-Paul Engelen, the director of public art programmes for the QMA, have yet to be finalised.

The authority is also planning other large-scale public works for various sites, including Katara, which is home to the QMA Gallery, the Qatar Fine Arts Society, the Visual Arts Centre and the Qatar Photographic Society, among others.

The QMA's first public commission, installed in MIA Park in Doha in December 2011, was 7, an 80ft-high sculpture by the US artist Richard Serra.

Qatar was revealed to be the world’s biggest buyer of Modern and contemporary art by The Art Newspaper in 2011 (see related link above). The Gulf state is building up a first-class collection of art, and is planning to “deliver a series of exciting cultural projects in time for the [football] World Cup in 2022”, said Edward Dolman, who is on the board of the QMA, in 2011.

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