Saudi Arabia launches exhibition at UNESCO in Paris

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Featuring 39 works by 19 artists, the Saudi exhibition in Paris takes visitors on an exciting journey through time, showcasing the history of the Kingdom through its culture and heritage. (SPA)
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Featuring 39 works by 19 artists, the Saudi exhibition in Paris takes visitors on an exciting journey through time, showcasing the history of the Kingdom through its culture and heritage. (SPA)
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Featuring 39 works by 19 artists, the Saudi exhibition in Paris takes visitors on an exciting journey through time, showcasing the history of the Kingdom through its culture and heritage. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2019

Saudi Arabia launches exhibition at UNESCO in Paris

  • Prince Badr bin Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's minister of culture, inaugurated the event on Tuesday
  • The exhibition aims to promote international cultural exchanges, the preservation and sharing of Saudi heritage

PARIS: An exhibition of Saudi art and culture has officially opened at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. Prince Badr bin Abdullah, minister of culture and chairman of the National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, inaugurated the event on Tuesday.

The exhibition aims to promote international cultural exchanges, the preservation and sharing of Saudi heritage and the development of the cultural environment.

The opening of the Saudi showcase coincided with the Forum of Ministers of Culture, which was hosted by UNESCO on Tuesday. The Kingdom was only participating nation to organize an event to accompany the forum, during which the key role of culture in public policy around the world was discussed, along with its effect on sustainable development.

The Saudi exhibition features 39 works by 19 artists, including contemporary works, bronze sculptures, photographs, a detailed presentation about Saudi heritage, poetry sessions, live music and culinary arts.

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Royal Commission for AlUla and Misk Art Institute, it takes visitors on an exciting journey through time, showcasing the history of the Kingdom through its culture and heritage, while the Misk Art Institute provides a round-up of the current Saudi arts and culture scene.

The event reflects the Kingdom’s cultural and educational initiatives in line with the principles of UNESCO. It is also designed to raise the awareness of the Kingdom’s rich cultural history and its creativity.

Also present at the launch of the exhibition were Prince Abdullah bin Khalid, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Austria; Noura Al-Kaabi, the Emirati minister of culture and knowledge development; and Park Yang-woo, the Korean minister of culture, sports and Tourism. They were joined by Saudi and French officials and senior figures from the fields of archaeology, arts, culture and nature.

During UNESCO’s 40th General Conference this month, Prince Badr said that “culture and arts are at the heart of the national transformation through the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to build a vibrant society, a prosperous economy and an ambitious nation.

“Culture is essential to human development and to building bridges of agreement among societies that pave the way for a stronger world, where all peoples are interlinked despite their differences.”


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.