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War destroys Iraq’s once-thriving artistic community.

By Faiz Shakir

"War destroys Iraq’s once-thriving artistic community."

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“Baghdad’s once-flourishing community of artists has all but evaporated. Streets formerly lined with galleries are now deserted, and the artists who remain say they have not sold a piece since the U.S.-led invasion.” Approximately 90 percent of artists who were working in the capital in early 2003 have been killed or have fled the country. Muayad Muhsin, an Iraqi painter, said that he refuses to leave and give into the violence: “War destroys art, but I have a responsibility to be here in my country.”

Muhsin’s “Picnic,” depicting Donald Rumsfeld is below:

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