* Qatari artists to submit artwork proposals for Doha Central and Corniche beautification projects
*Committee for Artworks signs contracts with Qatari artists

The Committee for Artworks has signed new contracts with Qatari artists to submit proposals for artworks and sculptures in various locations within the Development and Beautification Projects of Doha Central and Corniche, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has announced.

The projects are being implemented by the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar at Ashghal.

The Committee for Artworks includes members from the main committee at Ashghal, Qatar Museums (QM), the Ministry of Culture and Sports (MCS) and Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).

In a press statement, Ashghal said the signing of contracts was attended by Yousef al-Emadi, Ashghal Projects Affairs director; Mohamed Arqoub al-Khaldi, chairman of the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar at Ashghal; and Sara Kafood, member and design manager of the Supervisory Committee; along with Qatari artists Hassan al-Mulla, Salman al-Malik, Ali Hassan, Wafika al-Eissa, Mohamed al-Ateeq and Jameela al-Shuraim.

Social distancing was followed during the signing of contracts and all precautionary measures were taken to ensure the safety of all in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ashghal stressed. On the occasion, al-Emadi said the contracts signed with artists are part of the development and beautification projects of Central Doha area, which aim to develop public spaces, sites and streets, raise their aesthetic value and transform the entire area into a tourist attraction. He added that the works and artistic designs resulting from the new contracts would "create a distinctive spirit for the area with a special look matching its nature and special design".

Al-Khaldi noted that the Committee for Artworks aims to enhance artistic traits among people in Qatar, as well as highlight the Qatari identity in the field of art and sculpture, by employing artistic creativity and innovative production for Qatari and resident talents in Qatar. He added that the committee has been formed through co-operation between four government entities with the aim of working to "implement artworks, murals and art sculptures to enrich cities and roads with distinctive aesthetic manifestations".

Abdulrahman al-Ishaq, head of Public Art at Qatar Museums as well as head of the Technical Committee at the Committee for Artworks, highlighted the importance of co-operation between different government entities to achieve common goals. Work was done to attract and involve as many artists and creators as possible to participate in the Development and Beautification Projects of Doha Central and "create a special outlook that will make it an open museum, rich with the artist’s work".

Kafood said contracts were signed with Qatari artists to submit preliminary artwork proposals for sculptures and murals that would reflect the identity of Qatar in the eyes of its citizens and add the imprint of Qatari artists. She added that the initiative would cover different locations, which would be announced later in conjunction with the project schedule and in co-ordination with QM, the MME and MCS.

The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar works in co-ordination with several ministries and other entities in Qatar, including the Ministry of Transport and Communications, MCS, QM, Qatar Railways Company and Private Engineering Bureau, among others. It is responsible for five major tasks: the construction of central public parks, provision of dedicated lanes for pedestrians and bicycles, development of the Doha Corniche, development of Central Doha, and increasing afforestation and green areas.

The committee's projects aim to revive and maintain local elements from the Qatari urban settings, which in turn contribute to and enhance the Qatari cultural identity and its public realm. The committee is also working to encourage partnership with local artists to add an artistic and cultural footprint in different spaces.

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