LONDON: An exhibition about King Faisal bin Abul Aziz will open in London this month. Titled “A life at the Heart of the Twentieth Century,” it commemorates the 100th anniversary of his historic, five-month visit to Britain, Ireland and France. Still a child at the time, he was the first Saudi royal to visit England.
“This exhibition is one of many to be held in Europe to introduce the world to King Faisal, his personality, history and biography as one of the most prominent world leaders,” said Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, which organized the event.
“It will trace King Faisal’s footsteps, showcasing parts of his journey, some of the places he visited, the figures he met and the importance of his visit to the continent in 1919.
“The event, titled ‘A life at the Heart of the Twentieth Century,’ will run for three weeks. It will include some of his personal possessions, along with manuscripts, telegrams, letters, paintings, maps, photographs, articles and press coverage that documented this historic visit.”
The exhibition features seven sections. “Najed” showcases the king’s early life, while “India” tells the story of the visit that constituted his first contact with the outside world. “London” documents his visit to the city that was his first stop during his 1919 visit, while “England, Wales and Ireland,” traces his subsequent tour of Britain and Ireland.
“On the battlefields” highlight King Faisal’s visit to the killing fields of Europe just a year after the end of World War I. “Paris” tells the story of his visit to the French capital, while “Heritage” explores the positive results and legacy of his historic trip.
The exhibition opens in the Nash Room at 116 Pall Mall on Dec. 20. In addition to KFCRIS, the official sponsors are the King Faisal Foundation and the Kingdom’s embassy in the UK. The Family Office Co. and Al-Saad Group for Investment and Development are strategic sponsors, and SEDCO Holding Co. is a gold sponsor.
The silver sponsors are the Saudi Petrochemical Company, Al-Rashed Trading and Contracting Co., Al-Zamil Group and Mohammed Al-Saad Al-Ajlan Sons Co. The official carrier is Saudia Airlines, and the international media sponsors are Arab News and Asharq Al-Awsat newspapers.
The exhibition has been held in a number of regions in the Kingdom and was hosted by the Kazakh cities of Astana and Almaty in 2017.