Complex Made Simple

QLC hosts Christie’s Viscount David Linley for a lively talk on cultural diplomacy

QLC participants took part in a Q&A session, which focused on ways of illustrating the unique culture and heritage of Qatar through the arts

Qatar Leadership Centre (QLC) hosted Viscount David Linley, Honorary Chairman in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India of world’s leading art business Christie’s, for an engaging talk on both cultural diplomacy and his fascinating career in the arts.

Entitled “Crafting a Career,” Linley’s presentation, under the theme of “Art and Leadership,” was held in the auditorium of the Museum of Islamic Art; it commended Qatar’s commitment to the arts and the achievements of the country’s leadership.

Mr Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums and Special Advisor to the Chairperson, introduced Viscount Linley, and provided insight into the theme of this event. He said: “We are proud to welcome Lord Linley to share his thoughts on the seemingly distinct topics of art, culture and leadership, based on his remarkable work with Christie’s.” Al Mahmoud further noted: “Our times demand prudent organizations with the foresight to invest in culture as well as human capital, which has proven crucial for the development of countries worldwide.”

Drawing from his wealth of experience in the arts, Viscount Linley addressed the importance of cultivating an appreciation for arts and craftsmanship among the young, the role of art in spurring dialogue across nations, and Qatar’s firm dedication to culture and heritage.

“Art can inspire the kind of conversations we otherwise may not have,” noted Viscount Linley. Thinking about art in the context of diplomacy, he said: “For centuries art has been at the centre of cultural diplomacy, a fact to which the gifting of art among dignitaries testifies.”

Since discovering his passion for the arts through his studies at ‘Parnham House School for Craftsmen in Wood’ in the early 1980s, Viscount Linley has written extensively on the subject, and is recognized as an ardent advocate of the arts, having lectured at the V&A Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institute, the LA Country Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

He was appointed to the non-executive Board of Christie’s in 2005, and served as UK Chairman of the firm since 2006. Apart from his leading role at Christie’s, Viscount Linley has established himself as a successful entrepreneur, founding LINLEY, a designer and manufacturer of furniture, upholstery as well as accessories.

“Qatar has been unique in its approach to its cultural development, demonstrating its commitment to originating art, culture and heritage experiences from within, and ensuring its history and future are both at the centre of the story it tells the world,” said Viscount Linley, addressing QLC’s participants, alumni and other special guests. “I always look forward to my regular trips to Doha,” he continued, having long been committed to educational initiatives within the Middle East. “The building of world-class cultural institutions such as the Museum of Islamic Art, which houses some of the great art works of humanity, is simply extraordinary,” Linley added.

Following Viscount Linley’s speech, QLC participants took part in a Q&A session, which focused on ways of illustrating the unique culture and heritage of Qatar through the arts.

This event is part of serious of talks initiated by Qatar Leadership centre focusing on multiple topics including “Art and Leadership”.