DOHA, (PRLM). – Fourteen giant bronze statues by British artist Damien Hirst graphically map the moment of conception to birth patients who arrived at a US $ 8 billion hospital in the Gulf state of Qatar.
A large open installation, called The Miraculous Journey, shows a fetus that grows in the womb and peaks with a 14-meter baby naked only after birth.
The monumental work is the center of an impressive collection of modern art at Sidra Medicine Hospital, which officially opened this week in Doha, which will envy many galleries around the world.
"We believe it reflects very much on Sidra's mission, taking care of the health of women and babies," said Layla Ibrahim Bacha, an art specialist with the government-backed Qatar Foundation, which owns most of the artwork.
"I think it's perfect for location, because you can see lots of people taking photos, I think it's an icon."
Among the 65 works in special facilities for children's and women's health are part of the names and internationally renowned artists from across the Arab world, including Qatar.
An outpatient clinic on the fourth floor is decorated with a neon installation titled I Listen To The Ocean And All I Hear Is You by Tracey Emin, one of the contemporary pioneers of England.
Bacha said that art was chosen with a "very specific theme" in mind.
"They are not meant to be decorative, they are intended to create more debate, help patients stay calm," he said.
Syrian artist Jaber al-Azmeh, whose picture was hung at the hospital, told AFP that it made him "smile" imagining his photos on display in a place where new life began.
Sidra began accepting her first patients in January and last month managed to do the first twin twin separation operations in Qatar.
Energy-rich Qatar has become a major buyer of contemporary art.
He sought to portray himself as one of the most progressive countries in the region against the backdrop of a fierce dispute with Gulf rivals led by Saudi Arabia.
But that does not mean there has not been any controversy over Damien Hirst's work that looms outside the hospital.
These statues were originally inaugurated in October 2013 but were closed from public view for the past few weeks.
The official reason is to protect them from ongoing development work in the hospital, but they are hidden after social media protests.
"We don't expect everyone to like them. We don't expect everyone to understand them," Bacha said.
"This is why they are there to really create this element of debate, this element of thought."