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Institut du Monde Arabe show gives sneak preview of planned museum of modern and contemporary art in Palestine

More than 100 artists have donated works to the Jerusalem-based institution

by Gareth Harris  |  28 February 2017
Institut du Monde Arabe show gives sneak preview of planned museum of modern and contemporary art in Palestine
Gérard Fromanger's Que pensez-vous de la situation? (2009) is among the works in the exhibition For A Museum in Palestine (© Nabil BOUTROS)
A new exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris is a taster for a major new museum planned for Palestine. The show, called For a Museum in Palestine (until 26 March), includes 60 contemporary works selected by the French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, which will form the basis of the collection at the planned Palestinian Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. 

The pieces have been donated by mainly French artists with works on display by Gérard Fromanger and Hervé Télémaque, key figures of the 1960s Figuration Narrative movement. The French artist Henri Cueco and Jan Voss of Germany are also participating in the show. 

In October 2015, the president of the IMA, Jack Lang, signed an agreement with Elias Sanbar, the Palestinian delegate to Unesco, to launch the new museum that will be based in east Jerusalem. Lang said that the IMA plans to house these works temporarily while the museum is under construction.

An organisation called Association d'Art Moderne et Contemporain en Palestine (Palestinian Association for Modern and Contemporary Art) is driving the project. The association “is compiling a collection, examining the museum’s design, and providing the necessary means for its construction”, according to a statement on the IMA website. A schedule for the project is yet to be confirmed. 

The collection of the future museum already includes around 100 works by artists such as Titouan Lamazou and Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is due to travel late 2018 to the Palestinian Museum, which opened last May in Birzeit, north of Jerusalem. This 3,500-sq. m museum is a flagship project of the Welfare Association (Taawon), a non-profit organisation registered in Switzerland.   

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