Renowned Moroccan painter Mohamed Melehi, 84, dies after contracting Covid-19

The artist died after being admitted to intensive care in a Paris hospital

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Moroccan painter Mohamed Melehi has died at a Paris hospital after contracting Covid-19. He was 84.

Melehi had flown to the French capital for surgery on his ankle scheduled for October 21, but it was cancelled after he started to feel unwell. He was admitted to intensive care at Chu Ambroise Pare hospital, where he died on October 28.

The news was confirmed by the Lawrie Shabibi gallery in Dubai, which represents the artist. "We are so shocked and sad," says Asmaa Al Shabibi, director of Lawrie Shabibi. "We are so grateful that we were able to know him and work with him – the honour was truly ours."

Melehi was one of Morocco’s most significant modernist figures, and his work has been exhibited across the world.

Cromwell Place Gallery in South Kensington, London. Artwork: Mohamed Melehi.
A Mohamed Melehi work in Cromwell Place Gallery in South Kensington, London. Rob Greig for The National

A retrospective of Melehi's work, New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives, recently showed at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue.

Many have paid tribute to the artist on social media following the news of his death.

"Saddened to hear that the Moroccan artist Mohamed Melehi passed away. He had been in intensive care for the last few days, reportedly for a covid-19 infection," Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami.

“Sad to hear that Mohamed Melehi passed away today, he was such an inspiration and he contributed in a big way to the Moroccan modern arts, may his soul rest in peace,” another wrote.