As part of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum’s programmed cycle, the exhibition Art and Architecture between Lisbon and and Baghdad uses the Cultural Week of 1966 and the Iraqi art collection gathered at that time as the central axis for a reflection on the importance of the Foundation’s development aid strategy of the time, not only for a country that was seeking to modernise itself but also for the nascent institution in its quest for international affirmation, in particular in the Middle East.

A selection of art works – many never before shown in Portugal – and original documents from the Gulbenkian Archives will illustrate the organisation and realisation of the Cultural Week, the formation of the Iraqi art section of the Foundation’s Modern Collection and the planning, design and construction of the Gulbenkian Modern Art Centre and the Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, all of which became key elements of the Foundation’s ‘soft power’ strategic diplomacy and testimony to a period of intense cultural, artistic, architectural and technological exchange between Portugal and Iraq.

The project is promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Gulbenkian Archives and Art Library, with the support of the Grants Department.