Restoration of Jeddah’s public art to transform city into open-air museum

Updated 15 February 2013

Restoration of Jeddah’s public art to transform city into open-air museum

As part of the waterfront development at the central Jeddah Corniche, efforts are under way to transform Jeddah into a virtual sculpture park as restoration of 27 steel sculptures by various internationally renowned artists is already underway.
Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) has commissioned Plowden & Smith, the UK company specialized in sculpture restoration, to refurbish and maintain 27 steel sculptures that have deteriorated in recent years.
The sculptures include works Henry Moore (UK), Victor Vazarelly and Cesar Baldicini (France), the Joan Miro (Spain), Alexander Calder (US), Jane ARB (Germany), and Arab artists including Mustafa Sunbul (Egypt) and Rabi’a Al Akhras (Syria).
Some of the restoration work will take place in a 700-square-meter workshop prepared inside Abdul Latif Jameel Co. The workshop is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment required for the maintenance of sculptures. Bloudan and Smith, the British company specialized in
maintenance of such kind of sculptures. In addition to Bloudan and Smith’s participation, Mtec is responsible for dismantling and reassembling the sculptures; the Mexican Luxpupoli will oversee the lighting of the sculptures; and Brandsaint, a publisher, is preparing illustrative maps for visitors to Jeddah and for others who are interested in sculpture.
The sculptures have been divided into two groups based on size.
The first group, made up of 21 sculptures, was dismantled and transported to the workshop for maintenance, while the second group, made up of six sculptures, were refurbished on-site. The maintenance program includes a training program for Saudi artists on preventive restoration works. An agreement also was signed with a local contractor to perform welding and other steel work under the supervision of Plowden & Smith. In addition to the restoration of existing works, a special area for displaying sculptures has been set aside on 700 square meters north of Al Anani Mosque. The area will truly be an open-air museum for Jeddah residents and visitors.
Fadi Jameel, President of ALJ Community Initiatives International, said that ALJCI International is proud to cooperate with the Municipality to restore this rare collection of sculptures and to restore to Jeddah its former beauty and glory. Jameel added that this is only the first stage of a many faceted project, and will be followed by other phases of restoration of all public sculptures in Jeddah. ALJCI is preparing a special book on the work that is being written by the British writer Edward Booth who is assisted by the Saudi researcher Maryam Bloding. In addition, a documentary on the restoration will be made.
Restoration works and re-installation of the sculptures will be completed in the next few months.


How the Crown Prince’s visit to South Korea is advancing Vision 2030

Updated 25 min 19 sec ago

How the Crown Prince’s visit to South Korea is advancing Vision 2030

  • Mohammed bin Salman and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agree to a Vision Realization Office in Riyadh and Seoul
  • Business deals that redefine their traditional oil partnership include eco-friendly automobile technology and hydrogen energy

SEOUL: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s history-making visit to South Korea has taken Saudi Arabia a step closer to achieving its Vision 2030 economic transformation following the establishment of a joint “Vision Realization Office” that will expand business cooperation between the two countries beyond their traditional oil partnership.

The crown prince met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the presidential Blue House after being welcomed by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon at a VIP airfield in Seongnam, south of Seoul, earlier on Wednesday. It is the first visit to South Korea by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter in more than two decades.

The crown prince, who also serves as deputy prime minister and minister of defense, stressed that he would invest more in South Korea, focusing on expanding bilateral collaboration in the fields of energy, automotive, tourism and health.

“South Korea has made tremendous success in Saudi Arabia. I hope South Korea will do the same to further improve the bilateral relationship,” the crown prince was quoted by a Blue House spokesman as saying.

“People of both countries will thrive through cooperation in the sectors of defense and economy.”

Moon pledged to provide full support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economic portfolio, breaking away from its dependence on the energy segment.

The two leaders discussed ways of boosting their relationship, with a focus on the new industrial sectors of information and communications technology, hydrogen energy, robots, health, medical service and culture.

Both sides “reaffirmed their strategic partnership regarding Saudi Vision 2030,” a joint press release said. “In this regard, the two leaders agreed to set up the ‘Vision Realization Office’ in both Riyadh and Seoul, respectively, as part of efforts to expedite bilateral efforts for the successful Vision 2030 partnership.”

At a luncheon hosted by Moon, South Korea’s business tycoons greeted the crown prince and other Saudi delegates.

Among the business leaders were Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group; LG chairman Koo Kwang-mo; and Chung Ki-sun, senior executive vice president of Hyundai Heavy Industries.

“I hope companies from both nations can set up a strategic and cooperative relationship through vibrant business activity,” the crown prince said.

Later in the day, he was invited to Samsung’s VIP guesthouse in Itaewon, Seoul, for more discussions on business partnerships with young South Korean representatives, a Samsung spokesman told Arab News.


• $8.3bn - Estimated worth of economic deals signed on Wednesday

• 16 - Number of MoUs between the two governments, including agreements related to eco-friendly automobile technology and hydrogen energy

• 15 - Number of MoUs signed by the Saudi business delegation

• $6bn - Value of the deal signed by Saudi Aramco and S-Oil, South Korea’s third-biggest oil refiner, to build refinery and downstream facilities in South Korea

• $1.8bn - Cost of developing a propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex in Jubail, a joint project between SK Gas and Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical (APC)

According to the Blue House spokesman, Seoul and Riyadh signed a total of 16 memorandums of understanding (MoUs), including agreements related to eco-friendly automobile technology and hydrogen energy.

“Based on the latest MoUs with Saudi Arabia, South Korean companies will lay the groundwork for advancing into the Middle East region in the fields of green cars, hydrogen energy supply, hydrogen fuel cell and others,” Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Sung Yun-mo, told reporters.

On top of the government agreements, eight MoUs between companies have been signed. The value of the agreements is estimated at $8.3 billion, the minister added.

Among the lucrative business deals are Saudi Aramco’s petrochemical project with S-Oil,  South Korea’s third-biggest oil refiner. Under the $6 billion deal the refinery will build a facility to produce ethylene and other basic chemicals out of naphtha and refinery off-gas, as well as olefin downstream facilities in Ulsan, about 400 km southeast of Seoul, by 2024.

Another high-profile agreement is on hydrogen cars. “The collaboration of Hyundai and Saudi Aramco will cover not only existing projects but also future-oriented business plans,” Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai’s vice chairman, said in a statement.

“This MoU will be an opportunity to help further solidify our strategic cooperative partnership,” he added.

Under the partnership, the two companies will cooperate in establishing hydrogen-charging infrastructure in South Korea and supply hydrogen fuel-cell electric cars in Saudi Arabia.

Other MoUs include Aramco’s joint investment with Hyundai Heavy Industries to build a ship engine plant in the King Salman Global Maritime Industries Complex, and a joint project between SK Gas and Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical (APC) to develop a $1.8 billion propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex in Jubail.

On a political note, Moon and the crown prince condemned terror activities harming energy security and regional stability in the Middle East, including this week’s deadly attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Abha’s civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia.

The crown prince promised to help with South Korea’s possible fuel shortages in case of supply disruption caused by tensions in the Middle East, while both leaders called for international efforts to secure energy safety at the Strait of Hormuz, where two Japanese oil tankers were struck by unidentified attacks.

South Korea imported 101.5 million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Seoul’s biggest oil supplier, in the first four months of this year, down 2.7 percent from a year ago, according to data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp.