Baron Palace - via Wikipedia Commons
CAIRO - 11 August 2017: Former Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny blew a surprise by announcing that Qatar tried to buy Baron Empain Palace, lure him by offering $500,000 to implement a plan to establish Qatari Museums.
‘’Nobody could buy me for money,’’ declared Hosny commenting on Qatar's proposal. Hosny added during his interview with Tes’een Dakika (90 minutes) talk show aired on Al-Mehwar channel Thursday that Qatar had a cultural aspirant.
‘’I previously met with Sheikha Mozah, the wife of former Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and she discussed with me a number of her projects.
I also met with Hamad and he told me that they had a lot of money that they don’t know where to invest, I told him that Egypt is a good place for investment,’’ Hosny recounted.
Hosny noted that Emir Hamad was fond of the Baron Palace and asked to restore and buy it to dedicate it to his wife, but the government totally refused.
‘’Hamad made me a proposal to join Qatar Museums Authority but I refused though the offer was extremely agglutinative,’’ Hosny said.
It is worth mentioning that Qatar's royal family, the Al-Thani, have been engaged in buying works of art for over 50 years, and in 2008 the Doha Museum of Islamic Art was meant to let the world know just how serious (and how rich) the family in their interest in the world of art.
One of the members of the Al-Thani family, Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani, has even been named 'the Queen of the art world,' managing the Qatar Museums, which host the country's impressive collection of art, bought from around the world, including works by artists such as Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol.
The Qatari Royal Family recently took the art world by storm with their $300 million acquisition of Paul Gauguin's painting 'When will you marry?'
In an article written by the New York Times titled 'Qatar's Royal Patronage of the Arts: Glittering but Empty,' one local, anonymous for fear of retaliation, tells the New York Times that the royal family "does not care about locals seeing the art shows...All they care about is being seen overseas."