Museum showcases Gaza 'artistic demonstration' against war

At a museum in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gazan works on display are proclaimed to be an "ongoing artistic demonstration" in solidarity with the war-ravaged Palestinian territory.

"This is not an exhibition," reads the sign at the entrance to the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, near Ramallah, showcasing art and heritage from the Gaza Strip.

Alongside contemporary pieces, the works include old, traditional paintings and costumes, as well as archeological artefacts, said board member Ehab Bessaiso, a former culture minister.

He told AFP that the museum had launched the initiative to "preserve Palestinian heritage work in Gaza, which has faced destruction due to the war."

Bessaiso said the museum had received "the works of hundreds of artists" from Gaza that had been held in West Bank universities and cultural centers and by individuals.

The display presents "the Gazan artistic scene in a new way" which helps "to face the challenges and difficulties which artists and culture are confronting in Gaza amid the destruction and siege," he said.

In a January report, the Palestinian Culture Ministry said 24 cultural centers in Gaza had been destroyed "in whole or in part" since the start of the war.

They include the Arab Orthodox Cultural and Social Center, the Rashad Shawa Cultural Center, which includes a theater, library and printing presses, and the Al-Sununu for Culture and Arts Association in Gaza City.

Historical buildings such as mosques, churches, the old Phoenician port and the Al-Qarara Cultural Museum have also been destroyed.

"It's a beautiful thing to see the work of artists from Gaza here in the West Bank, especially because Gaza no longer has a place to show them after all the destruction...

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