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MoMA and Tate directors urge UAE to lift artists' travel bans

Leading directors and curators express support of artists Walid Raad and Ashok Sukumaran

by Javier Pes  |  1 June 2015
MoMA and Tate directors urge UAE to lift artists' travel bans
Walid Raad was turned back at Dubai airport on his way to Sharjah
Glenn Lowry, the director of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate in London, are among the more than 60 signatories to a letter expressing support for the artists Walid Raad and Ashok Sukumaran who in May were banned from travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Raad was turned back at Dubai airport on 11 May and Sukumaran was denied a visa, both on grounds of "security". They are members of Gulf Labor, an artist-led group that campaigns on behalf of migrant construction workers in the region, which posted the letter on its website today, 1 June. Last week more than 40 artists voiced their concern at the artists-activists being denied entry along with Andrew Ross, a professor at New York University

Organised by Doryun Chong, the chief curator of M+, Hong Kong's museum of visual culture, this latest show of solidarity is addressed to the UAE as well as the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Musée du Louvre among other institutions. The signatories call on them to "work with the concerned authorities to lift these bars on their travel".

Other named signatories from institutions in Asia and India as well as Europe and North America include Lars Nittve, the director of M+, Kathy Halbreich, the deputy director of MoMA and Sheena Wagstaff, the head of the department of Modern and contemporary art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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