In anti-Trump Protest, New York's MoMA Highlights Artists From Muslim Countries

The museum rearranged its galleries, supplanting the works of Picasso, Matisse and others to feature artists from the seven predominantly Muslim countries subject to presidential immigration curbs.

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Pedestrians outside New York's Museum of Modern Art
Pedestrians outside New York's Museum of Modern ArtCredit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration ban against citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, New York's Museum of Modern has rearranged its galleries to highlight the work of artists from the affected nations, the New York Times has reported.

Drawn from the museum's own collection, the artists in the spotlight include Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salai, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid and Tala Madani, an Iranian video artist based in Los Angeles. The works were placed in the museum's fifth floor galleries in spots normally used to display the work of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and others, the Times reported.

Next to the newly hung art is the following notice: “This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on Jan. 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.”

Trump imposed the 90-day travel ban on the arrival of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and a 120-day bar on all refugees on the grounds that the steps were necessary to protect the United States from Islamist militants. Provisions of Trump's order have been suspended at least temporarily by a Federal court judge in Seattle until legal challenges to it are addressed further.

With reporting from Reuters.