International architecture expo in Venice to include Saudi Arabia pavilion

Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Support’ to celebrate Venice Biennale. The Saudi pavilion, titled “Spaces in Between,” has been organized under the leadership of the Misk Art Institute. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 May 2018
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International architecture expo in Venice to include Saudi Arabia pavilion

  • This is the first time the Kingdom will be represented at the exhibition with a national pavilion
  • Italian architects have worked in Saudi Arabia and contributed to its development, says envoy Ferrari

RIYADH: Saudi curators and architects have teamed up under the banner of the Misk Art Institute and the Italian Embassy to place the Kingdom under the cultural spotlight in a major international architecture exhibition that will open in Venice on May 26.

This is the first time the Kingdom will be represented at the exhibition with a national pavilion.

In the run-up to La Biennale di Venezia exhibition, a presentation on the Saudi pavilion was hosted by Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari and Dr. Ahmed Mater, director of the Misk Art Institute, at the ambassador’s residence in Riyadh.

The pavilion, titled “Spaces in Between,” has been organized under the leadership of the Misk Art Institute. 

It will showcase works by Saudi architects Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz, supervised by curators Dr. Sumaya Al-Solaiman and Jawaher Al-Sudairy.

“The presentation was organized to celebrate a landmark moment in the history of Saudi Arabia, and for cultural relations between Italy and the Kingdom,” said Ferrari. 

“The economic and social changes that we are witnessing in the Kingdom today are extraordinary. As we continue to develop the strategic partnership between our two countries, arts and culture have a special role,” he added.

“There is now a need to develop a more strategic framework to enhance our mutual cultural dialogue… There is no better time for the Kingdom to join La Biennale di Venezia.”

Italian architects have worked in Saudi Arabia and contributed to its development, said Ferrari. 

The exhibition will explore new possibilities to utilize minimal spaces to increase socialization and community building in the Kingdom’s rapidly expanding cities, he added.

Al-Sudairy said the exhibition will also “explore the social implications of architecture. Architects Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz are using this opportunity to examine the relationship between space and architecture, hoping to engage visitors in the potential of creating interaction through redesign.”

La Biennale di Venezia was founded in 1895 to promote and showcase the very best of contemporary art from around the world. 

Over the years, it has grown to encompass all forms of artistic expression, including cinema, music, theater, architecture and dance. 


KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah speaks to media in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 46 min 10 sec ago
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KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

  • Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen
  • Al-Rabeeah called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

RIYADH: A 45-vehicle aid convoy carrying 924 tons of foodstuffs, medical and housing supplies left Saudi Arabia for the Yemeni province of Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSRelief general supervisor, said that 18 of the trucks were sent from Sharurah, 15 from Jazan and 12 from Riyadh.

The convoy included 595 tons of food baskets, 186 tons of dates, 95 tons of medicines, and 48 ​​tons of shelter materials, tents, rugs and blankets for the residents of the province of Hodeidah.

Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen.

He called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

The Arab coalition has secured all Yemeni crossings for humanitarian aid to alleviate Yemeni people’s suffering caused by violations committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, who have been looting humanitarian aid to Yemen, Al-Rabeeah said.

 “We have been always by the side of Yemeni civilians. Our prime goal is to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Yemen in general and Hodeidah in particular. We will use all transportation means, land, air or seaports, to help our brothers and sisters in Hodeidah,” he added. 

“We are welcoming coordination with the international humanitarian organizations to have a joint effort that will definitely pour into the civilians in Hodeidah to reduce the humanitarian crisis there as the coalition has expressed its full readiness to protect the aid and facilitate the means to reach different destinations,” Al-Rabeeah said.

Abdulsalam Babood, senior official to the Yemeni government and a member of Yemeni Relief Committee, said: “On behalf of my country and the Yemeni people, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to King Salman and the crown prince for their unmatched generosity and unwavering support to the Yemeni civilians in terms of medical supplies and food and other needed items for survival.

“Hodeidah has been suffering from the humanitarian crisis over the past three years due to the full control imposed by the Houthi militants on them. Starvation and the big shortage in medical supplies and medications and huge environmental issues are the main struggles of the people there. International reports estimate that 61 percent of people in Hodeidah are in urgent need of essential supplies. We then put a plan to cope with this humanitarian crisis.”