The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University have responded to the apparent seizure and Turkish reports of hideous torture and beheading by the Saudi government of Washington Post journalist and American legal resident Jamal Khashoggi.
ArtNet News reports that Saudi funding for a new Arab art initiative is under the microscope. The diplomatic crisis coincides with the launch in New York of the first-ever Arab Art & Education Initiative, a year-long cultural exchange across the city’s five boroughs.
The Middle East Art Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC, withdrew from the program almost immediately after news broke about Khashoggi walking into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and not being seen again.
Eighty-five percent of the Arab Art and Education Initiative’s funding comes from sources outside of Saudi Arabia, according to artNet News.