By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 2 November 2013:
An art exhibition in Tripoli’s Old Town last week brought together Belgian and Libyan art, in . . .[restrict]the historic setting of the former British Consulate building.
Sponsored by the Belgian embassy, the project brought Belgian artist Goedele Peeters to Tripoli to exhibit her paintings alongside works by Libyan artists. “We wanted to avoid this being a ‘western’ event,” Belgium’s ambassador to Libya Andy Deilie said. “We wanted to reach out to the Libyan art scene and those who had suffered under the old regime.”
Culture Minister Habib Al-Amin gave a moving speech about the importance of art. “We lived as a bird in a cage,” he said, “but art will help us establish a future, because what a civilisation leaves behind, what it is remembered by, is its art.”
He thanked not only the artists exhibiting work that day, but all artists who, he said: “make us feel more alive and help us to appreciate life more.”
Deille described Peeters as an impressive artist and an inspiring person. Despite the negative coverage Libya has been getting from the international media recently, he said, Peeters was happy to accept an invitation to Tripoli.
Peeters told the Libya Herald that it was brilliant to see that Libyan artists were so committed, and still believed in the importance of art and culture. As part of her visit, she also ran two full days of workshops for Libyan artists.
“It’s interesting to meet other artists because they are coming from a completely different culture,” Peeters said. “It’s nice to see the different ways artists work and hear different ideas about art,” she added.
The old British Consulate building is now called the Abdel Khaleq Al-Noueiji House of Culture, named after one of the founders of the building’s library who was also committed to reviving the capital’s Old Town. The Library is open six days a week. [/restrict]