H.E. Mr. Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports underlined that Qatar-France Year of Culture will leave behind a remarkable legacy that will last after 2020 and will further strengthen the relations between the two countries. He indicated that the Years of Culture Programme had testified to the importance of its role as an intermediary in promoting cross-border mutual understanding with the spaces of gathering and the opportunity to taste various arts it provides, in line with the spirit and essence of Qatar National Vision 2020.

Years of Culture over the last eight years, he pointed out, was successful in converging different peoples and learning about the treasured components of our and their indigenous heritage and rich culture. He noted that this partnership would contribute to building solid bridges with French cultural institutions, which in turn will lead to closer diplomatic, social and cultural relations between the two countries. These statements by H.E. Mr. Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports were given during the Press Conference held yesterday to announce the launch of the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 Programme, which will be inaugurated in an official ceremony hosted by the Opera House in the “Katara” Cultural Village the day after tomorrow.

The programme will comprise a wide array of exhibitions, festivals and cognitive and cultural exchange activities organized for 12 months in Qatar and France. At the Opening Ceremony, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will play a selection of the best of French classical music. The performance will be conducted by Marc Piollet, one of the most notable, entertaining and diversified music artists.

In his statement at the conference, the Minister of Culture and Sports, said “At the same time when Qatar-France trade relations are experiencing a boom, there are about 5500 French citizens living on the lands of Doha and nearly 200,000 French-speaking persons in Qatar. At this same time, the French Centre in France is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, were several rich educational and cultural activities were offered. The best evidence of our interest and valuation of friendship and mutual support between our countries is the design of Qatar National Museum by the French architect Jean Nouvel, who expressed deep appreciation and understanding in designing this genuine national symbol and architectural masterpiece inspired by the Desert Rose.

For his part, H.E. the Ambassador of France to Qatar, Mr. Franck Gellet, has said that: “2020 will be an exceptional year, as it will witness more strengthened ties of friendship linking the French and the Qataris together through fostering artistic and knowledge exchanges between France and Qatar. We are all proud of this cooperation we accomplished. Last year alone, we exchanged high-level visits and entered into 7 important agreements in the areas of defense, security, higher education and culture, aside from the vital bilateral trade cooperation between our two countries which is booming nowadays; with a notable 33% rise recently in the year”. He further indicated that the Years of Culture initiative encourages dialogue among cultures and highlights the distinct relationship between Qatar and her friendly states.

He mentioned that Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 aims to strengthen the relations between two peoples, histories and cultures. This year, he continued, will constitute an opportunity for raising knowledge of France in Qatar, and the French, on the other hand will get to know about the culture, history and aspirations of Qatar.

The events of Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 will focus on three main pillars of Qatar vision 2030. The first pillar will focus on arts of all forms as the Year will feature several high-profile arts, music and cinema events. The second pillar will encourage knowledge, scientific and academic cooperation and discussions of ideas., as France will be the guest of honor of Doha Book Fair. Moreover, France will present the night of ideas at Msheireb on January 30, a French embassy program organized throughout the world to promote exchanges of ideas and dialogue about issues of mutual concern. Additionally, an event under the title “French Street” will be held at the Museum of Islamic Art Park (MIA-Park) in November. French companies in Qatar of all areas and fields of expertise will be showcased at this street. French companies will be gathered by our side towards a huge success of the events of this Year.

Among the most notable exhibitions to be undertaken during Qatar-France Year of Culture is The Palais de Tokyo (Tokyo Palace) in Paris hosting of a contemporary art exhibition titled “Our world is burning”, designed and evaluated by the Contemporary Art Center; Arab Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition will include artworks by artists from Qatar and the Gulf. Other activities to be held in France include cinema movies produced by ​​​​​​Doha Film Institute which will be screened in Cannes Film Festival and “Clermont-Ferrand” International Short Film Festival, along with “Qatar Culture Week”, which will be held in October 2020 at the Institut du Monde Arabe (the Arab World Institute) in Paris. Furthermore, the Fire Station Artist in Residence will organize a distinctive exhibition in March titled “Picasso Studios”. The exhibition will include some of the most amazing works by Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century. These works will be borrowed from the Musée national Picasso-Paris. In the fall of 2020, the temporary gallery of the National Museum of Qatar will host an exhibition under the supervision of the renowned French art historian Catherine Grenier showcasing the Parisian tremendous contemporary art innovation, whereas works of the contemporary French artist Philippe Parreno will be exhibited at Qatar Museums Gallery Alriwaq.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Qatar Museums, Ahmad Musa Al-Namla emphasized the importance of the initiative “Years of Culture” in the transmission of culture between peoples. He further stressed that the Qatar-France Year of Culture will be a special year that will focus on knowledge, dialogue and exchange of ideas, noting that the Year of Culture is designed for enlightening the world on peoples’ shared culture.

In a special statement to (Al-Sharq) Al-Namla pointed out to the importance of Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020, affirming that France is one of the countries that Qatar has various ties with, saying: “France is one of the central axes economically and politically, and hence, it’s extremely important that we introduce our culture to them”.



Ms. Aisha Al-Attiya, Head of Years of Culture at Qatar Museums highlighted that the events of Qatar-France Year of Culture would be a continuation of the historical bonds of friendship between the two countries, pointing out that this year will witness several cultural and artistic initiatives which would foster the dialogue between Qatar and French peoples.

The program of Qatar-France Year of Culture will be exceptional, embracing a large number of different events and activities which are based on essential focuses supporting Qatar vision 2030, Said al-Attiya in a special statement to (AlSharq), noting that the Year of Culture will feature several Art Galleries for the most celebrated French and local artists.

She indicated that an initiative will be undertaken later this January, giving designers from Qatar an opportunity to participate in one of the biggest design exhibitions in France. She reaffirmed the importance of Years of Culture in building partnerships between Qatar and other countries in the world in various areas.