Adam Lindemann made a pilgrimage to Qatar to see Takashi Murakami’s Ego show and see what the Qatari Museums Authority is up to. Here’s Lindemann’s take on the Qatari strategy:
The Qatari elite relies on a personal vision, that of the Sheikha (helped by “advisers”), whereas Abu Dhabi’s way relies on institutional credentials (Guggenheim, Louvre) and hired curators vetting and creating the appropriate permanent collection. […] One Qatari intellectual told me that even if the $1.25 billion his country has spent on art to date is worth only $1 billion, the sum total of its public relations victory far outweighs any speculative gain or loss on the art. “Long term,” he said, “this art is a national asset, it is valuable. We will never lose a penny on it.” The current art market isn’t Qatar and the Sheikha’s concern. They have a greater goal, and it looks like they are well on their way to achieving it.
Sushi in the Desert: Takashi Murakami Brings His Ego to Qatar (Adam Lindemann)