Qatar Museums (QM) joined the French Embassy in Doha to announce a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, festivals, bilateral exchanges, and events to be held in both nations over the next twelve months to celebrate the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture.

Each year since 2012, Qatar Museums has collaborated with a different nation to produce a specially curated Year of Culture, promoting mutual understanding across borders while providing opportunities for people of each nation to see and appreciate one another’s creativity. During this 9th annual programme, the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture builds on strong, substantial and already existing ties between the two nations to produce a series of experiences that are expected to create remarkable excitement.

Qatar France 2020 Year of Culture pressconHE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, said that although Qatar is always reaching out to people around the world and welcoming the world to Qatar, it is especially gratifying to the country to enjoy the sustained, focused activity made possible by the Year of Culture programme.

We are grateful to our partners in both countries for their enthusiastic cooperation in putting together the truly exceptional programme that we now announce for Qatar-France 2020. We look forward to showing the best of Qatar in France, the best of France in Qatar, and inviting the people of both nations to share their thoughts and experiences and deepen their mutual connections.’

HE Franck Gellet, Ambassador of the Republic of France to the State of Qatar, said the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture will continue the advances in mutual understanding, friendship and support that the two nations are so proud to have achieved.

In the past year alone, we exchanged visits of high-level delegations and signed seven important agreements in defence, security, higher education and culture. The dynamic bilateral trade between our nations is flourishing, having increased only recently by a remarkable 33% for the year, and the Institut Français du Qatar has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

By encompassing visual arts, music, cinema, sport, literature, and scholarly and scientific exchanges, Qatar-France 2020 will broaden these existing relationships among our people while elevating them to an even higher level.’

The Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture will be inaugurated with a grand opening ceremony at the Katara Opera House this Friday, 10 January. Marc Piollet, one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation, will lead the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in a compelling programme of French classics.

Events, Exhibitions and More

In February, the Palais de Tokyo will host a major contemporary art exhibition, titled Our World is Burning. The exhibition, co-curated and co-produced by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, will feature works by artists from Qatar and the Gulf region.

Other events to be hosted in France include screenings of works from the Doha Film Institute at the Cannes International Film Festival and the Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, and the presentation of Qatar Culture Week in October at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.

In March, the Fire Station Garage Gallery will present the outstanding exhibition, Picasso’s Studios. Dozens of works by Pablo Picasso, on exceptional loan from the Musée National Picasso in Paris, will bring the public imaginatively into the spaces where this great 20th century artist achieved his creative breakthroughs. Mathaf will also open an exhibition by Yto Barrada.

This fall, the temporary exhibition gallery of the National Museum of Qatar will host an exhibition curated by renowned French art historian Catherine Grenier on the subject of Paris as a whirlwind of innovation in modern art, while Qatar Museums Gallery Al Riwaq will showcase works by acclaimed contemporary French artist Philippe Parreno.

Qatar France Year of Culture

Further exhibitions, programmes and events will be announced in the coming weeks and months. For updates, visit

Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and France, including the Embassy of Qatar in France, the Embassy of France in Qatar, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Tourism Council, Doha Film Institute, Qatar National Library, Cultural Village Foundation – Katara, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Qatar Football Association.