01 February, 2007

Saadiyat Island in the NYT

The New York Times has a long, interesting and positive report on the plans for a cultural center on Saadiyat Island.

With once-proud cities like Beirut and Baghdad ripped apart by political conflict bordering on civil war, Abu Dhabi offers the hope of a major realignment, a chance to plant the seeds for a fertile new cultural model in the Middle East...

[I]n Abu Dhabi, Mr. Krens [,head of the Guggenheim Foundation,] has found a client whose interest runs deeper than collecting tourist dollars. Sheik Sultan bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, chief of the tourist and development authority, says the emirate’s desire is to create a contemporary cultural locus with little precedent in the region.

“What is happening is unfortunate in places like Beirut,” Sheik Sultan said. “We want it to come back to its old days.” Ultimately, he added, the emirate hopes that Abu Dhabi’s arts district will become a cultural hub of the Middle East and a starting point for cultural exchange...

3 comments:

dredge said...

Let's hope it's a genuine vision and not just another mirage...

I also hope that the Andy Fleischmanns of Spain and France won't demand that the Guggenheim and the Louvre first certify the human rights credentials of their partner as a condition for cultural exchange...

dredge said...

this must be the laziest "community" in the blogosphere; a football match (though clearly very important locally) gets 44 comments, and something like this gets only 1 comment after 3 days of posting? now what does that tell you?

Brn said...

yeah, and not even proper football either!

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