Opinion: Skip the Vatican Museum. Go to the National Museum of Qatar.

By David Belcher
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.Credit...
DOHA, Qatar — The future of the art world may be in a vast desert landscape where audacious museums are melding both local culture and the outside world in a way that feels fresh and revolutionary. Galleries are embracing not only pre-Islamic art and culture where it was forbidden for centuries, but also contemporary global art, creating an array of works to take in. That mash-up of sensibilities also lies at the core of global criticism surrounding human rights violations in the region, from the exploitation of laborers from Asian and African countries to discrimination against gays and women. Those issues are at the heart of the region’s growing pains. [More]

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