DUBAI: The Saudi Ministry of Culture and auction house Christie’s on June 26 will hold a special charity auction of contemporary Middle Eastern art to benefit a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and a children’s non-profit organization also in the city.
The event, Art for Al-Balad, is the first of its kind in the Kingdom with over 40 works donated for sale by collectors, artists and gallerists in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Among those who contributed artworks include the Mansouriah Foundation for Culture and Creativity, Ayyam Gallery, Agial Gallery, Al-Marsa Gallery, Elmarsa Gallery, Hafez Gallery as well as Rochan Galler, Mazen Soueid, George Alama, Hamza Bounoua, Abdullah K. Al-Turki and Qaswra Hafez.
Proceeds from the sales will support the creation of a dedicated heritage museum that will tell the story of the Al-Balad’s unique history and the Help Center, a Jeddah-based children’s non-profit organization which provides tailored support to children with special educational needs, a statement from the organizers said.
Al-Balad, situated on Saudi Arabia’s western Red Sea coast, boasts of 600 buildings dating back to the 19th century – including traditional tower houses with distinctive wooden tops or ‘roshan’ – and is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom.
“A dedicated Al-Balad Museum is an important cause that will play a crucial role in historic Jeddah’s preservation and regeneration. It will showcase a part of Saudi Arabia’s heritage to a wide audience and ensure that culture is embedded into Saudi citizens’ everyday lives for generations to come,” said Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah.
Arts and culture have the power to transform lives, and this is clearly demonstrated by this group of talented artists donating their work to support the Al-Balad Museum and the Help Center.”