Palestinian intellectual and ambassador to UNESCO, Elias Sanbar, has dreamt of opening an art museum in Palestine since 2009. With his artist friend Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Sanbar is currently in the midst of finalising the project.
The collection will consist of donations, mostly given by Western artists including 1960’s French political artists Claude Viallat, Julio Le Parc, Gérard Fromanger, photographers Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson as well as iconic French filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard. This represents “a gesture of solidarity and fraternity to the Palestinian people”, says Sanbar.
Although the Palestinian institution will inherently have a strong political backbone – its aim isn’t to offend or cause any political controversy. Sanbar hopes to see Israeli artists exhibited in the space that is said to open in the occupied territory of East-Jerusalem.
With the help of the Paris-based museum Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), Sanbar and his team are working on raising funds, connecting with architects and developing the collection.
Meanwhile, a snapshot of the museum’s current collection is on display until May 20 at IMA in Paris.