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Sun 21 Jul 2019 11:03 AM

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UK gifts Mary Magdalene painting to Abu Dhabi

Painting by Dutch artist Ary Scheffer is a symbol of friendship between the UK and Abu Dhabi

UK gifts Mary Magdalene painting to Abu Dhabi
The painting, Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, presented by His Excellency Patrick Moody, British Ambassador to the UAE, to Dr. Hamed Bin Mohamed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Arts Society.

The British government has gifted a painting by a 19th Century Dutch artist to the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as part of celebrations to mark the United Arab Emirates’ Year of Tolerance.

The painting, Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, which was painted by romantic painter Ary Scheffer in 1856, is part of the Lubin Family Private Collection and was presented by His Excellency Patrick Moody, British Ambassador to the UAE, to Dr. Hamed Bin Mohamed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Arts Society, at a ceremony on Thursday.

The painting of the popular female biblical figure was bought by the Lubin family in 1978 and has been gifted to the emirate of Abu Dhabi on loan in perpetuity as a symbol of the friendship between the United Kingdom and the UAE.

Dr. Hamed Bin Mohamed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arts Society, said: “We are truly honoured and humbled to receive such a significant gift from the Lubin Family on behalf of the United Kingdom. I believe literary and cultural partnerships are crucial to building bridges of understanding between peoples from around the world.”

His Excellency Patrick Moody, British Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, said: “I am delighted at this wonderful and generous loan from the Lubin family to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

Scheffer lived from February 1795 to June 1858 and was a popular romantic painter of the era who often painted subjects from literature and the bible. His portrait subjects included the likes of the composer Frédéric Chopin, the author Charles Dickens and Queen Marie Amélie, wife of France’s King Louis Philippe I.

His work currently hangs in some of the world’s biggest art galleries, including The Louvre in Paris, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Palace of Versailles and The Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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