King Salman conferred Brunei’s highest honor

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah conferred Brunei’s highest honor, the Royal Family Order for Brunei’s Throne, on King Salman, on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 05 March 2017
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King Salman conferred Brunei’s highest honor

RIYADH: King Salman was conferred Brunei’s highest honor, the Royal Family Order for Brunei’s Throne, on Saturday.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei presented the award to the Saudi king after the two leaders met in Brunei and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
The Brunei honor was conferred in recognition of the king's efforts to restore peace and security regionally and internationally, and his government’s management of The Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.
A joint statement said the two leaders “stressed the importance of reaching a lasting, comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the contents of the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy.”
On the Syrian crisis, the two leaders underscored the importance of finding a political solution based on the Geneva communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, as well as the importance of providing humanitarian and relief assistance to Syria’s displaced people and refugees.
King Salman and Sultan Bolkiah also “stressed the importance of preserving the unity in Yemen and achieving its security and stability. They also confirmed the importance of a political solution to the crisis in Yemen based on the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Initiative, outputs of the National Dialogue Conference and the UN Security Council Resolution (2216), emphasizing their support for the legitimate authority in Yemen as well as access of the humanitarian aid to all Yemeni regions,” said the statement.
The two leaders agreed to coordinate their stances within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to serve the interests of the two countries and citizens, as well as the interests of the Islamic world. They also emphasized “the need to reject extremism and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its source.”
The sultan expressed his appreciation to King Salman: “This important and historic visit reflects the continuous fraternal, friendly and bilateral relations binding the two brotherly countries,” said the statement.
The two leaders agreed to “activate” a bilateral agreement in the fields of economy, investment, education, culture, youth and sports. They also highlighted the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation in political, military, security and Islamic affairs.
In 2001, the first Saudi ambassador was appointed in Brunei, and a draft joint agreement between the two countries was signed in July that year, which defined the scope of bilateral cooperation in commercial and economic fields.


First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

Updated 37 min 50 sec ago
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First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

  • The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah
  • Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetched SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction

JEDDAH: Art for Al Balad, the first charity auction of contemporary art in the Kingdom, achieved sales of SR 4.8 million ($1.3 million) on Wednesday.

The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, all of which sold, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah, on Wednesday. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with auction house Christie’s.

“It was much above our expectations; we are very happy,” said Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie's Middle East.

About 200 Saudi art collectors joined artists and other members of the Saudi and international cultural communities at the event. Bidding was highly competitive, with “Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetching SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Nassif House was built in 1872. Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was received at this house upon his entry to the city in 1925.

• The Saudi government is keen to restore and preserve buildings with historic and cultural significance, and carries out regular renovation work.

• Al-Balad, or Jeddah historic district, is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. It contains about 600 buildings that date back to the 19th century.

 

“Where to” by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen was the second-most expensive work, selling for SR 500,000, while “Witness in the Desert” by Abdullah Al-Sahikh attracted a winning bid of SR 380,000.

“It was extremely pleasing, very encouraging,” said Jeha. “The energy in the room was fantastic. The enthusiasm was very strong. I think for the very first auction, we can all be extremely pleased.”

Jeha described the growth of the art scene and culture in general in Saudi Arabia as very impressive, and said that the Ministry of Culture has developed a strong platform and program for the coming years, which will help to establish art and culture in the hearts and minds of people in the Kingdom.

The profits from the auction will help to establish a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and support The Help Center, a non-profit organization that provides customized support to children in the city with special educational needs.

The auction received donations and funding from galleries, cultural foundations, private collectors, and artists across the Arab World, the assistance of which was acknowledged by the Ministry of Culture.

“This would not be possible without the generous support of both the donors and the talented artists,” said Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture, in his opening speech.

The ministry aspires to create and develop a cultural environment in which artists and other creatives can access a platform that celebrates a shared identity and builds understanding between people.

Speaking of the Ministry’s three main objectives in its cultural vision for 2019, Fayez said that it aims to support the nation’s cultural transformation by promoting culture as a way of life, enable the sector to contribute to the economy, and encourage international cultural exchanges.

Before the auction, the works on sale were on display to the public in an exhibition on June 23 and 24.