• Issue
  • Jun 28, 2024

The Point: Money Well Spent?

ALIA AL FARSI, Alia’s Alley. Photo by Asim Al Balushi. Courtesy National Pavilion of the Sultanate of Oman, Venice Biennale.

The Oman Pavilion at the 60th Venice Art Biennale marked the nation’s second time participating, and it brought back the same concerns that many voiced in 2022: the cost of maintaining a national pavilion is enormous, especially compared to the minimal support for local artists. Oman did not disclose the cost of its 2024 pavilion, but considering that nations must secure space, produce and ship artwork, involve design and exhibition teams, and facilitate other logistics, the expense cannot be underestimated. Even without international shipping costs, Italy spent USD 1.3 million on its pavilion in 2024. Oman’s GDP constitutes roughly five percent of Italy’s. Would it not be more advisable for the government to use these funds to build up the local arts infrastructure?

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