Judith Dobrzynski recently posted a fascinating piece on some of the issues raised by Hicham Daoudi's three-year €450,000 grant to the Pompidou Center that "must be spent on art by Moroccan artists." While there's no doubt that the "source market" of an artistic object has a strong bearing on the value the international art market confers on such object -- with a lesser value being given to art originating from "transitional" and "developing" economies, to use Iain Robertson's terminology -- museums like the Pompidou are supposed to be independent (if there ever was such a thing in the art world) barometers of the aesthetic and art historical value of cultural artefacts and "affirmative action" grants entirely compromise their role. Furthermore, as the managing director of Art Holding Morocco and founder of the Marrakech art fair, it's Daoudi himself who stands to gain the most from the grant as the Pompidou's seal of approval will greatly enhance the value of his art holdings in Morrocan artists. Cunning market manipulation on Daoudi's part and an unfortunate precedent on the Pompidou's (notwithstanding that yes, museums are strapped for cash and money is apparently fungible...).
For more on the Marrakech art fair, click here.