For the first time a Picasso painting entitled 'Buste de Femme' from 1943 has come to Palestine to be shown at the International Art Academy. It's a cubist deconstruction of a woman's face, dominated in grey. This exhibition was two years in the making and is a very exciting opportunity to build a new cultural international cultural dialogue in the occupied territory of Ramallah in Palestine. The Picasso painting costs £4.5 million and is on loan from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Only three people at a time will be able to see it to ensure the humidity, in the purpose-built viewing room, does not get damaged.
|Van Abbe museum's employees hang Pablo Picasso's "Buste de Femme" on a wall at the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah.|
At a cost of £50,000 in insurance and transport, the project began when Khaled Hourani, the director of the International Art Academy in Ramallah, visited the museum in 2008 and suggested a loan. "This started off as a crazy idea to bring a European masterpiece to a war-zone but I was only half-joking, " he said.
|Detail of Picasso's, 'Buste de Femme' (1943) , oil-on-canvas work. Photograph: Peter Cox for the Guardian|
Hourani hopes that 'Buste de Femme' will not be the last masterpiece to be exhibited in the territory. "We want this to become a normality but it is the last time I will do it. It has taken two years to bring one painting but the taboo has been broken and it will be easier for someone else to do it," he said. "The journey here adds meaning to the painting. It highlights issues of the freedom of movement and political agreement."
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