Exhibition of art works by legends including Pablo Picasso, classic French movies, music performances, and French food festivals are some of the highlights of Qatar- France 2020 Year of Culture that will kick off on January 10.
The details of the programme, organised by Qatar Museums (QM) were announced Tuesday at a press conference at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) in the presence of HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, French ambassador Franck Gellet, and QM Year of Culture head Aisha al-Attiya.
Qatar Museums' Year of Culture head Aisha al-Attiya and French ambassador Franck Gellet on the occasion
Marc Piollet, one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation, will lead the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of French classics at the opening ceremony at the Katara Opera House on Friday at 7.30pm.
“For this new Year of Culture, we are building on some of the most substantial relationships we have with cultural institutions anywhere in the world," HE al-Ali told the gathering.
"We are also strengthening the important diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural ties that are so beneficial to both our nations.
"More than 5,500 French nationals currently live and work in Qatar, as respected members of our resident community. Some 200,000 people in Qatar speak French.
"Bilateral trade between our nations is thriving, and the Institut Français du Qatar has now celebrated its 30th anniversary of educational and cultural activities in Doha.
“We are grateful to our partners in both countries for their enthusiastic co-operation in putting together the truly exceptional programme that we now announce for Qatar-France 2020.
"We look forward to showing the best of Qatar in France, the best of France in Qatar, and inviting the people of both nations to share their thoughts and experiences and deepen their mutual connections,” added the minister.
Ambassador Gellet explained that the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture will continue the advances in mutual understanding, friendship and support that both the nations are so proud to have achieved.
"In the past year alone, we exchanged visits of high-level delegations and signed seven important agreements in defence, security, higher education and culture. The dynamic bilateral trade between our nations is flourishing, having increased only recently by a remarkable 33% for the year.
"By encompassing visual arts, music, cinema, sport, literature, and scholarly and scientific exchanges, Qatar-France 2020 will broaden these existing relationships among our people while elevating them to an even higher level,” he added.
Al-Attiya gave an outline of the programmes that will be held throughout the year in Qatar as well as the in France in connection with the programme.
In February 2020, the Palais de Tokyo will host a major contemporary art exhibition, titled Our world is Burning. The exhibition, co-curated and co-produced by the contemporary art centre and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, will feature works by artists from Qatar and the Gulf region.
Other events to be hosted in France include screenings of works from the Doha Film Institute at the Cannes International Film Festival and the Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, and the presentation of Qatar Culture Week in October 2020 at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
In March 2020, the Fire Station Garage Gallery will present the outstanding exhibition Picasso’s Studios. Dozens of works by Pablo Picasso, on exceptional loan from the Musée National Picasso in Paris, will bring the public imaginatively into the spaces where this great 20th-century artist achieved his creative breakthroughs. Mathaf will open an exhibition by Yto Barrada.
The temporary exhibition gallery of the NMoQ will host an exhibition curated by the renowned French art historian Catherine Grenier on the subject of Paris as a whirlwind of innovation in modern art, and Qatar Museums’ Gallery Al Riwaq will showcase works by the acclaimed contemporary French artist Philippe Parreno.
Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, is planned in collaboration with the Qatar embassy in France, the French embassy in Qatar, Qatar's Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, The National Tourism Council, Doha Film Institute, Qatar National Library, and Katara.
Started in 2012, this is the 9th edition of the Year of Culture programme that collaborates with a different nation each year, promoting mutual understanding across borders while providing opportunities for the people of each nation to encounter and appreciate one another’s creativity.