Middle East

Babylon is coming back to life, with its famed Ishtar Gate to be restored by this summer

A new World Monuments Fund project in conjunction with the US embassy in Baghdad aims to repair Iraqi cultural heritage as part of the Future of Babylon project

Christie’s Middle East chairman Michael Jeha is stepping down after 23 years at the end of this month

Jeha began his career at the auction house as an intern in the Impressionism department

Art Dubaipreview

Art Dubai flexes city’s futuristic credentials with focus on NFTs and crypto

Art fair opens in the UAE this week with a new digital arts section and a series of talks on all things metaverse

Saudi Arabia's Desert X AlUla biennial returns for second edition next spring

In a new location in the desert complex, the exhibition will explore ideas of “mirage and oasis”

'Jobless, futureless, in constant fear': Afghan artists sign open letter to world leaders asking for help to escape the Taliban

Non-profit Artists at Risk issue letter to Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and other senior figures urging for better systems for those seeking asylum

Abu Dhabianalysis

Abu Dhabi plans two new museums in addition to Guggenheim and Zayed

Announcement was made at yesterday's preview of Abu Dhabi Art 2021, where cultural leaders were keen to emphasise their commitment to the emirate following its strict lockdown

Al-Ulanews

Unesco strikes partnership deal with Saudi agency to develop AlUla region's rich heritage

Agreement covers developing archaeological programmes and paves the way for kingdom's ambitious long-term plans to attract tourists to the region

An Afghan cultural worker’s life under the Taliban: 'There is nothing left for us here and we can’t go anywhere else'

In a new series "Dispatches from Afghanistan", we speak to artists about their experiences since the rise of the Taliban. Here, Mansoor laments the world’s silence over Afghanistan's fate

An Afghan artist's life under the Taliban: burning art, deleting social media accounts and living in hiding

In a new series "Dispatches from Afghanistan", we speak to artists about their experiences since the rise of the Taliban. Here, contemporary artist and curator Mina recounts the horrors of her failed escape attempt

Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong sets new opening date for long-delayed Abu Dhabi museum

New deputy director Naomi Beckwith says "we can re-centre where the stories of art are told"

Archaeologists discover 4,000-year-old ancient city in Iraqi desert

Ten teams from international universities and museums will visit the Dhi Qar region in October for further excavations

'In solidarity with the Palestinian people', photographers withdraw their works from Prix Pictet show in Israel

Prize-nominated artists Shahidul Alam and Gideon Mendel will not show their works at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv

Saudi Arabia pushes forward with plans for cultural 'renaissance' with vast light festival full of both local and big-name artists

Agencies seem to be betting that time and increased exposure to the kingdom will wear down Western qualms over its human rights record

'A woman painting women': major show on colourful Algerian painter Baya explores her influence on Modernism

Exhibition of more than 70 of the artist's works at Sharjah Art Museum in the UAE includes rare works from her first ever show in 1947

Street art, social media, visibility: how the Arab Spring has changed art and culture, a decade on

We ask artists, writers and experts on Middle Eastern art about their memories of the revolutionary movements—and what they think the lasting legacies are

Art fairsanalysis

'If you're coming to buy, you have two hours to do it': what it's like at London's real-life 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

In the absence of the major fairs and auctions, Modern and contemporary African art is in the spotlight in London this week

Virtual photography show reveals modern Lebanon's many layers of tragedy

Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 to 2020 hosted by Washington, DC's Middle East Institute is both timely and prescient

Saudi Arabia pushes soft power by launching new teamLab digital art museum in Jeddah

The hi-tech Tokyo-based collective will create trademark immersive experiences for the new space

Booksreview

New Orientalists: a thoughtful book on the rise and decline of Western artists in the Middle East

There is plenty to enjoy in this account of a group of travelling painters who were not only accomplished but also determined, brave and hardy

Beirutnews

Emergency fund launched in aid of Beirut's devastated art community

Belgian non-profit Mophradat says that 100% of the money raised will support individual artists and arts organisations

Beirut's art world mourns widespread death and destruction following explosions

With homes, galleries and studios entirely destroyed, Lebanese artists respond in the aftermath of Tuesday’s carnage

Huge explosion in Beirut decimates city and leaves art scene in disarray

Several galleries and museums have been destroyed or severely damaged following the blast and fire that shook the Lebanese capital on Tuesday

Former Louvre curator among five arrested in Paris in antiquities trafficking investigation

Case involves "hundreds of objects worth millions" looted from the Near and Middle East

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

Adam Henein—the Egyptian sculptor who spent a decade restoring the Great Sphinx—has died, aged 91

Rose Issa, curator and friend of the artist, shares the life story of one of the most important sculptors in the Arab world

UAE government promotes existing Art in Embassies acquisition scheme as a coronavirus relief plan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested its AED 1.5m in purchases were part of a new initiative following the suspension of Art Dubai due to Covid-19

From Modernist nudes to present-day politics: British Museum to reveal its contemporary Middle Eastern art collection

Free exhibition at the London museum in October will show around 150 works that have been collected since the early 1990s

Arab Springanalysis

The ripple effect of the Arab Spring

Political upheaval across the region presents challenges—and opportunities—for artists and collectors