Qatari Sheikh Hamad Sends Art Collection to Paris

Published November 21st, 2021 - 09:23 GMT
The Hotel de la Marine in Paris is to host a collection belonging to Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani
The interiors and architectural details of hotel de la Marine, in place de la concorde. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani also contributed €20m to renovation of historic Hotel de la Marine

The Hotel de la Marine in Paris is to host a collection belonging to Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, the cousin of the emir of Qatar.

The venue, which became the first museum in the French capital when it opened in the 18th century, housing a trove of royal art and furniture belonging to King Louis XV, had lain empty since 2015.

It recently underwent a €120 million ($135.5 million) renovation, to which Sheikh Hamad also committed €20 million.

He began amassing a personal art collection when he turned 18, with his haul now numbering around 6,000 items, spanning six millennia. 

Having initially wanted to find a space to exhibit his collection in London, he reached an agreement to use the Hotel de la Marine instead.

It is the latest case of Qatari investment in Paris, which is the home of football club Paris Saint-Germain, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority.


This week, items from Sheikh Hamad’s collection went on display for the first time, including an abstract sculpture from Western Asia Minor dating from 3,300-2,500 BC, and a West African terracotta head dating between 500 BC and 500 AD. The collection will remain on display for the next 20 years.

The collection’s senior curator, Amin Jaffer, told The Times that some of the items in Sheikh Hamad’s possession are too important and significant to be “hung any old how on a wall at home,” with much of it being kept in storage for years, except when loaned out for display at other museums.

“It is really the initiative of someone who is passionate about works of art and a philanthropist at heart,” Jaffer said, calling the collection at the Hotel de la Marine a “message of universalism and a dialogue across civilisations.”

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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