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The Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, founded by powerful Qatari art patron Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al-Thani, is slated to open in Qatar’s capital, Doha, just before the new year.
Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Mathaf’s chief curator, says one of the museum’s major contributions to the growing Middle Eastern art scene will be to push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in the region.
That means that works containing nudity and politically sensitive imagery — often taboo subjects in this part of the world — will not be subject to censorship, according to Al-Khudhairi.
“The collection has these kinds of works in it. The collection has nudes; the collection has political works. These things are part of the collection — we can’t deny it.”