Remembering H.E. Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani
H.E. Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani, former minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage and collector of rare beauties and Islamic antiquities, passed yesterday. Born in 1966, he was the brother of H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani, Vice Chairperson of Qatar Museums, to whom we extend our sincere condolences.
H.E. Sheikh Saud was one of the founders of QM's collections, and specifically that of the Museum of Islamic Art. As well as his interest in art, he founded the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), a private conservation and endangered species breeding centre in Qatar, focusing on breeding and preservation of rare bird species, particularly the Spix's Macaw. Sheikh Saud mission was to rescue the species from the edge of extinction and send it back into the Brazilian jungle. Today these species are only found in Qatar.
Sheikh Saud was a great man and an artist at heart. He will be greatly missed by the Qatar Museums family, Qatar and the art world as a whole.
"He was a prodigious figure in the art world, and a seminal one in the development of Qatar’s museums. It was always exciting to interact with him, and I was stimulated by his imaginative ways of doing things. We all should be grateful for those of his collections that have been so important to QM."
~ Roger Mandle, Former president of The Rhode Island School of Design.
"I feel very fortunate to have spent a lot of time with him discussing his collection over the last couple of years. He was an extraordinarily talented man and had a visceral understanding and appreciation for almost all forms of art. I have very rarely met anyone who combined such passion for works of art with such a deep knowledge of art history and the art market."
~Edward Dolman, Chairman and Chief Executive at Phillips and former Executive Director and Acting Chief Executive at Qatar Museums.
“Sheikh Saud was an extraordinary individual, with passionate interests and a deep knowledge of an astonishingly wide range of subjects. His involvement in Islamic art was profound. Responsible for first building a collection for Qatar and then for the development of a museum to house it, he must be given much credit for making the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha the world-class institution it now is. He thereby also made, a major contribution to the worldwide study and enjoyment of Islam art."
~Oliver Watson, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, 2008-11, I. M. Pei Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, University of Oxford.
"Your thoughts and the way you act in life will create your legend, the way you will be remembered. This form of life can last for many generations, depends how you impressed people. I am sure that Sheikh Saud will be remembered for many generations to come."
~ Hubert Bari, Directer of Pearl and Jewellery Collection, Qatar Museums.
“Sheikh Saud’s interests were as broad as his dreams… He changed my life, as I am sure he did for all those who had the privilege and fortune to meet him… it will be impossible to forget, his smile, his charisma, the very best of times and the very best of Saud’s achievements.”
~ Michael Franses, Director of Special Cultural Projects, Qatar Museums.
Qatar Museums will always remember Sheikh Saud as one of the founding members of this institutions.