“A Museum For Palestine”
The Palestinian Museum Establishes Partnership with the Institute of the Arab World in Paris




The Palestinian Museum is partnering with the Institute of the Arab World (Institut du Monde Arabe) in Paris to organise an exhibition featuring a collection of the “Museum for Palestine" Project. The exhibition will be held from Saturday 25 February till 26 March 2017. It will later be displayed in the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit in 2018 or 2019. The exhibition brought 50 art works donated by French artists in solidarity with the Palestinian people and includes paintings , historical photographs, and sculptures that reflect the diversity in contemporary art practices in the past decades.

The Project “A Museum For Palestine” was launched in France two years ago to form an art collection to be the nucleus of a future Palestinian national museum of modern and contemporary arts. A joint agreement on this regard was signed by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UNESCO, Mr. Elias Sanbar and the Institut du Monde Arab, represented by its director Jacques Lang.

“A Museum For Palestine”  was inspired by a similar initiative during the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa, led by the renowned French artist Ernest Pignon Ernest member of the (Association d’Art Moderne et Contemporain en Palestine). Each artist offered one or several works of art in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The works were safely deposited in the care of the Institute of the Arab World "Institut du Monde Arab) awaiting their journey to their natural destination Palestine.

This partnership forms part of the Palestinian Museum’s vision to promote Palestinian cultural presence at world level and expand its local and international partnerships.

Naturally the project of “A Museum for Palestine” raises a number of legitimate questions. What will be the key artistic and formal characteristics of the collection? What will be the provenance and manner of acquisition of the works in it? Is the project not “utopian” in the current circumstances? Who are the donating French artists who have given their works in solidarity with Palestine? What will our future projects look like?

These and other questions will be discussed at a press conference by Mr. Jack Lang, President of IMA, Mr. Omar Al-Qattan, Chair of the Board of the Palestinian Museum, Elias Sanbar, Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO and Ernest Pignon Ernest, Curator of the Exhibition, which will take place at IMA on Friday February 24 at 11am.

This partnership forms part of the Palestinian Museum’s vision to promote Palestinian cultural presence at world level and reflects high solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people as the artists donated their works to feature in the collection of “A Museum for Palestine.

Photo: Gérard Fromanger's Que pensez-vous de la situation? (2009) is among the works in the exhibition For A Museum in Palestine (© Nabil BOUTROS)