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October 30, 2010

Make KL a hub for art tourism

The Tourism Ministry is focusing on making Kuala Lumpur a hub for art tourism in a bid to attract more affluent visitors to the country.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit lauded events like the 4th International Art Expo 2010 and the 1Malaysia Contemporary Arts Festival for helping to reach that goal.

He said this when launching the International Art Expo, being held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur until Nov 1.

 Interesting: Dawos (left) acompanied by National Art Gallery directorgeneral Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad admiring on of the sculptures on display at the Art Expo 

In his speech, Dawos spoke of the potential profitability of art, citing the RM1.737mil in sales netted by the first Henry Butcher Art Auction in Malaysia, held on Aug 8.

He said another key point of holding the art expo was to promote the works of Malaysian talents.

“We want to expose visitors to Malaysian art and for Malaysians to rediscover our rich heritage,” he said.

A total of 18 of the 49 galleries exhibiting artworks during the expo are from Malaysia.

Sim Po Lenn, a project manager for Art Expo 2010, said the expo was also assisting local artists by offering them heavily discounted rates for booths as well as promoting them in advertisements for the event.

Sim said the local artists’ works were selling as well as those by their international counterparts, with the most expensive local artwork sold in 2009 being one worth RM250,000.

According to Dawos, the sales target for the 2010 Art Expo is RM8mil, up from the RM5.6mil made in 2009, while the target number of visitors is 15,000, up from last year’s 10,000.

Source: The Star



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