The AP runs a touching story about the growing importance of art in Saudi Arabia:
Saudis and foreigners crowded into a gallery at the French Embassy, checking out the paintings and sculptures of seven Saudi women artists, the latest opening in a growing art scene in the conservative kingdom.
One artist took advantage of the venue to hang an abstract painting of a woman, with one breast clearly depicted — a hint of nudity still taboo outside the diplomatic confines of the embassy, where Saudi Arabia’s religious police cannot enter.
The Wednesday night showing in a small hall was packed with expatriates and, more significantly Saudis, whose presence was a reflection of the surge of interest in the arts in the kingdom in the past few years. Local arts shows have been on the rise, more Saudi artists are participating in overseas exhibits, and more universities and schools are offering arts degrees
Still with Taboos, Saudi Art Scene Grows (Associated Press)