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3 December 2019

The piece of history that carries a lasting message

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The latest installment of QF’s Art Trail has focused on artworks at Education City that include a segment of the Berlin Wall.

A piece of the Berlin Wall that is on display at Education City bears an enduring message from history about the dangers of division and the importance of unity, visitors who gathered for the latest installment of Qatar Foundation’s Art Trail have been told.

The segment of the concrete barrier that once separated East and West Germany is on display in the atrium in the Humanitarium building, home to Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university Georgetown University in Qatar, and its symbolism was discussed during the most recent tour of QF’s art collection.

Both this piece of the wall, and another at Qatar National Convention Centre, are on loan from Qatar Museums as part of the Qatar-Germany Year of Culture in 2017. And Art Trail visitors were told that the wall has added significance in the context of the ongoing blockade of Qatar.

“It may seem like just a piece of wall, but there is much behind it,” said Layla Bacha, Art Specialist, Qatar Foundation. “For the Germans, the wall represents how the city was divided – it’s an important period of history that we should learn from.”

Constructed in 1961, the Berlin Wall was designed to separate West Berlin and East Berlin during the Cold Wall. Physically and ideologically dividing the city until November 1989, the wall now carries messages of hope, freedom, and change.

The tour also allowed visitors to explore other art pieces on display at the Humanitarium building, which was designed by Mexican architects Legorreta + Legorreta, incorporates Islamic elements, and houses a range of artworks.

Nina Pan, from Taiwan, attended the Art Trail talk, saying: “I have participated in three Art Trails, and they’re great – every week we get to see something new.

“I like the fact that we get see artwork that is not ordinarily available to members of the community – I don’t think I’d ever get the chance to see these pieces. I think these tours also give additional understanding of the art scene in public buildings in Qatar that very often we don’t hear about.”

Art Trail tours showcase art across Education City, and are designed to inspire cultural appreciation and creativity among Qatar’s community. Other venues for editions of the Art Trail have included the 2015 building (QF Headquarters), Sidra Medicine, the Canvus building (Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar), the Biznest building (Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar), and the Pressdock building (Northwestern University in Qatar).

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