On November the 22nd the Gulf Art Guide online was officially launched. For the occasion a meeting organised by the SICA and the Mondriaan Fund took place at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.
First he UAE ambassador to Netherlands Abdullah Hamdan Al Naqbi held an introductory speech, in his case highlighting the UAE’s ambitions and achievements in the field of culture. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi of the Barjeel Foundation in Sharjah held a keynote speech, in which he spoke about the current situation of the arts in the Gulf region, in a global context, and the relation between arts and diplomacy and arts and economics, with some hints at nowadays politics. After this the moderator of the afternoon Petra Stienen asked the authors and editors Neil van der Linden and Robert Kluijver to demonstrate the features of the website.
A panel consisting of Miriam Shatanawi, curotor of the Islamic art department at the Tropenmuseum, Gilles Plug Beschoor, head of the Middle-East department of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mandy Merzaban, curator at the Barjeel Foundation, and Ehsan Turabaz, Manager International Sales Department of IKEA, about the panel discussion on the opportunities for cooperation between the arts and economic sector in the Gulf and the wider MENA region.