Jeddah museum to showcase Arab, Islamic heritage

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The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum will open its doors to visitors of the Jeddah Global Village, Saudi Arabia’s first multicultural festival, from March 25 until April 24. (Photo/Supplied)
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The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum will open its doors to visitors of the Jeddah Global Village, Saudi Arabia’s first multicultural festival, from March 25 until April 24. (Photo/Supplied)
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The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum will open its doors to visitors of the Jeddah Global Village, Saudi Arabia’s first multicultural festival, from March 25 until April 24. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Jeddah museum to showcase Arab, Islamic heritage

  • There are 132 private and public museums in Saudi Arabia and the Vision 2030 plan has rightly focused on their role in boosting tourism and putting the Kingdom in the lead among different countries

JEDDAH: The amazing architecture of the Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum takes us on an astonishing journey back to the Jeddah of the old days where wooden carvings dominated most of the urban architecture, especially doors and windows.
The museum will open its doors to visitors of the Jeddah Global Village, Saudi Arabia’s first multicultural festival, from March 25 until April 24.
The village, which will be organized at nearby Al-Tayebat International City, in Al-Faisaliah, is expected to attract over a million visitors.
The museum includes a Saudi Arabian heritage section, an Islamic heritage pavilion, an international heritage area and a public heritage exhibition as part of the festival, featuring a host of priceless historical artifacts.
“Some of the items here date back millions of years,” a museum official told Arab News.
Suzan Eskander, the director general of the company organizing the event, International Image, said: “Participants from some 50 countries are adding finishing touches to their pavilions as I speak.
“There will be pavilions for representatives from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, as well as 18 countries from Africa, 10 from Europe and four countries from Central and South America.”
She added that national folk dances would be performed by troupes from each participating nation.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes. Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from each of the different countries.”
Eskander confirmed that paintings and other artworks, portraying and representing the heritage and cultural history from the different countries, would be on display. She expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) for their continued support and cooperation to make the village a reality.


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

Updated 27 June 2019
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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.