The influential Arts & Antiques magazine has carried an article about how Shafik Gabr believes that Orientalist paintings can further understanding between the West and the Arab world.
Under the heading, ‘The Bridge Builder’, the magazine wrote:
“To many in the West, the Orientalist art of the 19th and early 20th centuries is either colonialist kitsch or a charming time capsule of Academic painting. But to Shafik Gabr, an Egyptian tycoon and one of the world’s biggest collectors in the field, Orientalism is a potential bridge-builder between the Middle East and the West, something of real cultural importance, particularly now, with the struggle for democracy in the Arab world reaching the crisis point.”
The article included an interview with Mr Gabr, in which he said: “I see Orientalists as early globalists who brought the Arab world to the West and really contributed to mutual understanding. Far from colonizing their subjects, these artists actively bridged the Oriental and Occidental worlds.”
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