Art Exhibition of an ugly power

 "The late Libyan leader's would-be heir, Saif al-Islam launched a touring exhibition of Libyan antiquities and contemporary art called "The Desert Is Not Silent" in London's upmarket Kensington in 2002 which was dominated by his paintings.

The show was scheduled to go to Paris, Geneva, Berlin, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Moscow.

"Not only do we buy weapons and sell gas and oil, but we have culture, art and history," Saif al-Islam, who studied at the London School of Economics and portrayed himself as a patron of the arts, said in a statement at the time.

A website set up by Saif al-Islam's Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation to promote the exhibition no longer works."

Several convey political messages, including one bearing a banner in Arabic reading "The Struggle"; another, entitled "Intifada", showing a clenched fist; and a third, "War", depicting NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 during an apocalyptic storm.

"The Challenge", a painting from the period of the embargo against Libya for its alleged sponsorship of international terrorism, shows a stern Muammar Gaddafi gazing down from the skies at the "arrogant Allies" bearing wooden crosses.

In the catalog, Saif al-Islam also revealed a softer side.

"Beautiful Rose", a long-stemmed red rose painted on fabric, was dedicated to "someone who counted in the artist's life, who brought him joyous colors".

His works were not well received by art critics.

Gaddafi son used his paintings to promote Libyan culture

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