26 March 2012
Arts and Culture Minister, Mr. Paul Mashatile, opens a three month long exhibition of Irma Stern’s painting the Arab Priest, at the Iziko South African Gallery, in Cape Town later this week.
Stern’s Arab Priest was sold on auction for R34 million in 2011, a record setting price for a South African work of art. The 1945 painting was purchased by the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA). However the painting’s handover to Qatar was stopped by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), which contended that the Arab Priest forms part of the National Estate of South Africa and may not be exported without a permit issued by SAHRA.
After negotiations between the two bodies (QMA and SAHRA), agreement has been reached on the artwork’s future. The Qatar Museums Authority has been granted a permit to temporarily export the Arab Priest. Part of the agreement though, allows for the Stern painting to spend some time on display in South Africa. “This is a milestone for South Africa. The Arab Priest enjoys critical international acclaim, but is also a heritage object of significance to our country. We are thrilled that Qatar will continue to allow for the painting to be accessible to South Africans,” said Minister Mashatile.
Sibongile Van Damme, CEO of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), which is responsible for the protection of the country’s cultural heritage added, "This is an exciting moment in the history of our country because this artist and the subject she painted vividly illustrate the diversity of South Africa in the context of the world. We at SAHRA are proud to have done this for our country."
Media are invited to attend the launch of the exhibition:
Date: 28 March 2012
Venue: Iziko South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Cape Town
RSVP before 16H00, Tuesday, 27 March 2012, Patience Mogomotsi <PatienceMo@dac.gov.za>
Or with Berri at firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 083 230 2761
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The use of the Arab Priest image is subject to copyright.
Therefore media covering the exhibition may use the Arab Priest image for news stories ONLY! These include online, print publications, multi-media and broadcast formats. Use of the Arab Priest image in feature stories, in-depth reportage and other media use are subject to copyright, for which the media house will be required to seek permission. For further information, please visit:
www.sahra.org.za www.iziko.org.za www.dac.org.za
Enquiries : Mack Lewele 082 450 5076/012 441 3083
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