DOHA — A replica of the Charioteer of Delphi, gift of Greece to Qatar, was unveiled at Doha's metro station on Tuesday by Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.
In an official two-day visit to Qatar to discuss cultural exchanges with government and museum officials, Mendoni unveiled the statue alongside Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums Ahmad Al-Namla.
The Greek minister spoke of the statue's discovery by French excavators in 1896 – the year the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens – and its unique eyes, made of semi-precious stone and glass, providing a very vivid impression. "Many centuries later, the Charioteer becomes an ambassador of the friendship between Greece and Qatar," said Mendoni, and she added that "we chose to offer the Charioteer to the people of Qatar at a time which marks the strengthening of relations between the two countries."
Mendoni was then given a personal tour of Qatar's new National Museum by Ahmad Al-Namla, showing the country's history from prehistoric times to the present day.
According to a ministry statement, Mendoni on Monday met with cultural center "Katara Village" head Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, with whom she discussed drawing up a multi-annual strategy for the systematic promotion of Greek folk art, and the potential presence of contemporary cultural creations at the center.
The Culture Ministry also said that a joint work group will be formed by the two countries' culture authorities to discuss relevant plans, including establishing a Greece-Qatar Culture Year.