As part of its anti-vandalism campaign to protect Qatar’s public art and ensure it is cherished and looked after, Qatar Museums (QM) is currently undertaking a clean-up operation to restore Richard Serra’s striking East-West/West-East installation in Zekreet, which has been defaced by unsightly tags and graffiti.
A specialised team will remove all markings that have been made to Serra’s breathtaking sculpture, located in the Brouq nature reserve. The sculpture spans over a kilometre and comprises four steel plates, each over 14m in height, standing in stark contrast to the topography of the land and the desolate space in the heart of the desert.
The anti-vandalism campaign, launched in September, aims to protect and preserve installations across the country, encouraging the wider community to share in the responsibility to take ownership of #OurPublicArt. As part of the campaign, the museum has installed anti-vandalism signage at Zekreet.
The signage, installed in collaboration with Seashore Group, serves to educate the community on what constitutes vandalism of public art: drawing, marking, spray painting, scratching, or any other act that damages or defaces an installation.
“Public art is a national asset intended to be enjoyed and preserved by us all. QM spearheads a number of initiatives throughout the year to activate urban areas and take art beyond the four walls of museum,” QM’s Public Art Department acting director, Architect Abdulrahman al-Ishaq, said in a press statement.
“As we are currently restoring Richard Serra’s breathtaking installation after it was vandalised, we implore the wider community to protect Qatar’s public artworks. These pieces contribute to the country’s thriving landscape and should not in any way be vandalised,” he said.
QM is committed to nurturing a thriving public art scene through #OurPublicArt that reflects the artistic expression of the wider community. The museum is currently running the Jedariart public art initiative, a month-long programme, in which 17 locally-based artists will add meaning to the city’s walls through curated murals and street art.
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