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Artists banned by UAE receive support of Documenta curators

Okwui Enwezor and Adam Szymczyk among those urging museums working in the Gulf to do more to help lift travel restrictions

Leading curators Catherine David, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Okwui Enwezor are among the former artistic directors of Documenta, the prestigious exhibition in Kassel, who have signed an open letter dated 2 July calling on institutions in the West that are working in the Gulf to help lift the travel bans imposed on the artists Walid Raad and Ashok Sukumaran by the United Arab Emirates.

Adam Szymczyk, who is organising Documenta 14 (2017) added his name to the letter that is addressed to the directors of the Louvre in Paris, the New York-based Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Neil MacGregor, the outgoing director of the British Museum in London.

Denied entry to Dubai in May on grounds of "security", Raad and Sukumaran are members of the artist-initiated group Gulf Labour, which campaigns on behalf of migrant workers, many of whom are contracted to work on the cultural projects of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

Leading artists, including Mark Bradford Danh Vo, Damián Ortega and Rirkrit Tiravanija, as well as the director of the Tate in London, Nicholas Serota, and Glenn Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), have already expressed their concern at the travel bans.

Raad's solo show at MoMA is due to open on 12 October (until 31 January 2016).