LGBT-friendly art show is under fire for partnership with Qatar

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The Palais de Tokyo in Paris is collaborating with the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art on an exhibition called ‘Notre Monde Brûle’ (Our World Is Burning), as part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture. The show will offer a “fully political view of international contemporary creation seen from the Gulf,” according to Palais de Tokyo’s website. The thing is the gallery has been positioning itself as LGBT friendly, but this attribute cannot be applied to Qatar. In this country people are legally forbidden to be gay, homosexuality can be punished for up to 7 years behind bars. Moreover, some regions of Qatar have Sharia law, which includes a capital punishment for homosexuality. Responding to criticism in The Art Newspaper, Palais de Tokyo emphasized that it is partnered with a particular museum in Qatar, not with the whole country. Although the museum in question is state-run. In 2018, the museum hosted a three-day event focusing on the arts scene in Saudi Arabia – another Middle Eastern country that holds the death penalty for homosexuality.

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