Sunday 10 December 2006

Arts Tsar in Abu Dhabi

His Highness and Tessa JowellThere's nothing like a weekend in sunny Abu Dhabi, away from the UK winter. Yes, that's our Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Right Honourable Tessa Jowell MP, leaning on a display case which houses a model of Saadiyat Island, the Emirate's dumping ground for the world's worst art. (A Guggenheim contemporary art museum guarantees this.) Politely ignoring the fact that he's consorting with a bare-faced, bare-headed infidel, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan explains the project. By some strange coincidence, His Highness is Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and also Chairman of the Emirate's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC). It's a hard life being a Sheikh. The big question must be: Does Tessa Jowell have plans to turn Canvey Island into the UK's Saadiyat project? Maybe she's just trying to export Damien Hirst. Go for it, girl!


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