10/10/2012 12:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Abdulnasser Gharem Turns U.S. Capitol Dome Into Mosque For Saudi Arabian Exhibit (PHOTOS)

A leading Saudi Arabian artist has recreated the U.S Capitol dome, down to a miniature version of Thomas Crawford's bronze "Statue of Freedom" sculpture at the dome's top, according to the Washington Post. But unlike the original, this 13-foot wide replica reveals an interior designed to resemble a mosque

The work is part of "#ComeTogether," a London-based exhibit of contemporary Middle Eastern art that opened last week. Designed by artist and lieutenant colonel of the Saudi Army Adbulnasser Gharem, "The Dome" is meant to symbolize the uncertain future of democracy in a post-Arab Spring world.

According to the Post's description, Gharem's dome sits atop a pool of oil-like black tiles, and is delicately balanced "like an animal trap" in such a way that the mosque inside is apparent.


Gharem, who became the Arab world's highest selling living artist when his bird trap version of the Dome of the Rock sold for upwards of $800,000 at auction last year, said the precarious positioning of "The Dome" was inspired by his childhood hobby of building bird traps out of baskets and unwanted food. "In the same way, many Saudis are drawn to democracy but we don’t know what is inside," he told the Post. "Perhaps it is like a mosque? Perhaps something else.”

The exhibit, organized by a British-based arts initiative, Edge of Arabia, which Gharem co-founded, will head to the United States next year, according to The Guardian.

"#ComeTogether" will be on view in a warehouse situated on Brick Lane in London from 7th–28th October 2012.