Background

For the first part of the 20th century, Egypt was regarded as the center of cultural, intellectual and artistic production within the Arab world, and the world as whole. As for its fine arts part, a combination of extraordinary world-class artists, supported by committed patrons and genuine collectors led to placing Egypt on the frontier of art production within the regional context.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Internally, the culture of art patronage disappeared and for many decades, art production with quality lagged behind. The ministry of culture who is the main and official patron for art in Egypt has unfortunately become obsolete and inefficient.

In the meantime, new regional art hubs were created taking the complete limelight away from Egypt. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Doha invested handsomely behind creating top notch art fairs and biennales, attracting international auction houses, building new museums and expanding the number of commercial and non-commercial art spaces. By doing this, these new art hubs have not only succeeded in giving artists an enormous space and means to produce art of finest quality, but as well in establishing a powerful name in the art scene on a regional and an international level. Moreover, this subsequently led to successfully creating massive art and cultural tourism.

To create a space for Egypt within that competitive world and benefit from the astounding growth in the international art market, independent private entities with know-how need to up the ante and create events to attract international attention and support for visual arts in Egypt.

Success models such as the Gulf, Iran, Palestine and Lebanon indicate that patrons (living inside and outside the country) are crucial in creating and sustaining a flourishing art scene.