Ancient Egyptian statues found in English garden

Ancient Egyptian statues found in English garden
Egypt's most famous sphinx stands adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza. (AFP/File)
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Updated 11 October 2021

Ancient Egyptian statues found in English garden

Ancient Egyptian statues found in English garden
  • The 2 pieces, used as ornaments, were thought to be replicas
  • They sold at auction for $265,000

LONDON: Two stone statues of sphinxes dating back 5,000 years and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars have been discovered in a garden in the English county of Suffolk.

The statues, over a meter tall each, were thought to be 18th- or 19th-century replicas, but after they were inspected by an expert, the garden ornaments turned out to be genuine.

Despite their poor condition, having been left outside in the garden for years and secured to the ground with cement, they still sold at auction for £195,000 ($265,000).

Auctioneer James Mander told Metro newspaper: “We were contacted by a local family who were moving house and needed to dispose of stuff from their old garden, which did not fit their new home.

“The condition was quite poor with heavy wear and various losses. They had been repaired by the current owners, using concrete, to fill the missing part under the head of one of the statues.”

He added: “They had stood on a garden patio as decoration until last month, when they were consigned to the auction.

“There was some interest prior to the auction during the viewing, but really we had no indication of their value until the auction began.

“The bidding started at £200, and it took fifteen minutes to sell, with competition from four telephone bidders and numerous internet buyers.

“The bidding quickly went up to £100,000 and then seemed to stall, until the hammer finally fell at £195,000 to an international auction gallery, setting a new house record.

“Opinion was that they were genuine Ancient Egyptian examples, which had somehow passed through recent history as 18th century copies.”

Mander said: “This was an exciting day at the auction, and we were very pleased to inform the vendors who had purchased and enjoyed these as garden ornaments for many years, with no idea of their true value.”


Four Arab films submitted for the 2022 Oscars so far

Four Arab films submitted for the 2022 Oscars so far
“Heliopolis” has been selected for the second time to represent Algeria at the prestigious awards. Supplied
Updated 24 October 2021

Four Arab films submitted for the 2022 Oscars so far

Four Arab films submitted for the 2022 Oscars so far

DUBAI: One of the toughest contests at the Oscars is for the honor of Best International Feature Film. Competing with the best movies from all over the world, it is a tremendous accomplishment to be named one of the five films that make it into the final round — and the process starts by a country submitting its official choice, before the organization behind the Academy Awards whittles down the official selection at a later date.  

Four Arab countries have so far submitted their candidates for the Oscars before the 94th Academy Awards take place on March 27, 2022.

They are “Casablanca Beats” by Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, Palestinian director Ameer Fakher Eldin’s “The Stranger,” Abdelhamid Bouchnak-directed “Golden Butterfly,” which is Tunisia’s entry, and Algerian director Djafar Gacem’s “Heliopolis.”

“Casablanca Beats” by Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch. Supplied

A shortlist of 15 finalists will be announced on December 21, with five nominees announced on February 8, 2022.

Meanwhile, "The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Somali-Finnish writer-director Khadar Ayderus has been submitted as Somalia's entry, marking one of many to come from the African continent.

“The Gravedigger’s Wife,” which tells the story of a gravedigger trying to find ways to pay for his sick wife’s treatment, is the first Somali film to be submitted for the Oscars.

“The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Somali-Finnish writer-director Khadar Ayderus. Supplied

As for the Arab submissions so far, Ayouch’s “Casablanca Beats,” which had its world premiere in July, is based on the director’s own childhood experience and was the first fully Moroccan film to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Eldin’s debut feature is about an unlicensed doctor who encounters a wounded man in the war in Syria. The film won the Edipo Re Award for Inclusion at the Venice Film Festival this year.

“Golden Butterfly” is the Tunisian filmmaker’s third feature.

As for Gacem’s “Heliopolis,” it has been selected for the second time to represent Algeria at the prestigious awards, after its nomination was withdrawn last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. the Algerian drama is based on the real-life events of May 8, 1945, where French colonial forces attacked thousands of Algerians in the city of Guelma (called Heliopolis in ancient times). If “Heliopolis” is selected, it would be Algeria’s first entry since Costa-Gavras’s 1970 film “Z,” which was also the first Arab film to win an Academy Award.

 


Your guide to the 2021 RUSH Festival in Riyadh

Your guide to the 2021 RUSH Festival in Riyadh
Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News
Updated 24 October 2021

Your guide to the 2021 RUSH Festival in Riyadh

Your guide to the 2021 RUSH Festival in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural gaming and esports extravaganza, RUSH Festival, is currently underway in Riyadh. The five-day event, which wraps up on Oct. 26 as part of Riyadh Season 2021, is not short on entertainment.

Enjoy games

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

Video game lovers can compete in more than 18 different gaming tournaments, including Tekken 7, Peggy, Overwatch, FIFA 2022, Call of Duty and many more.

Dress up

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

Visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favorite video game or anime characters. Fans of the fictional universe who registered for the cosplay contest will compete for “best costume” and stand to win a grand prize of $18,662.

Shop

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

You can buy a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones from the many pop-up shops dotted throughout the venue.

Eat local

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

If you’re looking to fuel up, there is no shortage of restaurants and cafes to pick and choose from, including local eateries such as Ahal Al-Deera.

Live Music

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

Catch live performances from a lineup of Saudi Arabia-based DJs, including DJ Vegas, DJ Bassel and DJ Memo Max, who will be setting the mood throughout the esports event.

Discover the latest in tech

Photo by Huda Bashatah/Arab News

Explore the latest in gaming technology, with hyper-realistic virtual reality games, mobile games and more.


Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 brings together industry experts for first Saudi Salon

Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai . (Farah Heiba/ Arab News)
Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai . (Farah Heiba/ Arab News)
Updated 24 October 2021

Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 brings together industry experts for first Saudi Salon

Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai . (Farah Heiba/ Arab News)

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai brought together creative experts for the first session of the “Saudi Salon” late last week.

Organizers brought together a panel of experts on Thursday to discuss the role of creative industries in facilitating cultural transformation.

The discussion was held in the Palm Garden inside the Kingdom’s pavilion and moderated by Yasser Al-Saqqaf. Participants included Robert Frith from the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), Francesca Hegyi from the Edinburgh International Festival, Sarah Al-Omran, deputy director of Art Jameel, Nora Al-Dabal from the Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate and Robert Bock, a representative of the MDLBEAST festival in the Kingdom.

At the beginning of the session, Frith discussed the role that creative industries play in changing societies. He said that Ithra has managed to have a positive impact on Saudi society since its inauguration in 2016 and has also succeeded in adapting to changes around it

For her part, Hegyi emphasized that culture and creativity are the mirror of society and therefore they play an important role in facilitating change in societies in general. She added: “I think this indicates the type of change that can be brought out within societies. For this change to happen, they need to ratify a set of special policies and laws that can speed up the process.”

As for Al-Dabal, she reviewed the experience of AlUla Governorate, saying: “We are all aware of the deep history that AlUla holds and the different civilizations and cultures it has witnessed throughout history. I believe that the qualitative leap that this historical site is currently witnessing shows the impact of the creative industries and their ability to change a society. She also noted the importance of partnerships in creative industries, saying: “Such partnerships are important, as they work to stimulate cooperation on one hand and on the other, contribute to deepening the effects that creative industries have on society”.

Bock, meanwhile, stressed “the power of creative industries and their ability to sharpen the human mind,” saying: “We cannot deny that the Kingdom has witnessed, in recent years, a qualitative leap in the cultural sector, which allowed the creative industries to develop faster and stronger. This created new platforms and partnerships allowing creative talents to reach out to the community and introduce themselves to it.”


El Gouna Film Festival ends with ‘Feathers’ nabbing top prize

El Gouna Film Festival ends with ‘Feathers’ nabbing top prize
‘Feathers’ also won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week. Supplied
Updated 23 October 2021

El Gouna Film Festival ends with ‘Feathers’ nabbing top prize

El Gouna Film Festival ends with ‘Feathers’ nabbing top prize

DUBAI: Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy’s “Feathers” took home the Best Arab Narrative Film at the closing ceremony of El Gouna Film Festival on Friday.

“Feathers” tells the story of a mother who dedicates her life to her husband and children. When a magic trick goes wrong at her four-year-old son’s birthday party, an avalanche of coincidental absurdities befalls the family. The magician turns her husband, the authoritarian father, into a chicken. 

Despite its big win, the film — which won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week — sparked controversy at the event and on social media. 

Some Egyptian filmmakers and actors, including Sherif Mounir, Ahmed Rizk and Ashraf Abdel Baqi, left the screening of the film last week because they thought the movie was offensive to Egypt.

Meanwhile, the top prize in the three main categories of Feature Narrative, Documentary and Short Film went to Finnish director Teemu Nikki’s “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic,” “Life of Ivanna” by Renato Borrayo Serrano, and “Katia” from Russian director Andrey Natotcinskiy.

Egyptian director Ali El Arabi’s “Captains of Za’atari” won Best Arab Documentary film, while director Mounia Akl’s “Costa Brava, Lebanon” won the inaugural El Gouna Green Star Award for raising awareness on environmental issues and the Fipresci award for Best Debut Film.


Riyadh Season to kick off ‘RUSH’ festival, cosplay competition

Riyadh Season to kick off ‘RUSH’ festival, cosplay competition
Updated 22 October 2021

Riyadh Season to kick off ‘RUSH’ festival, cosplay competition

Riyadh Season to kick off ‘RUSH’ festival, cosplay competition
  • The festival is expected to attract thousands of e-gamers to the heart of the capital
  • Some of the competitions will be broadcasted for viewers to live-stream remotely

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s most anticipated gaming event of the year kicks off this Friday as part of the Riyadh Season’s six-month calendar of interactive experiences and entertainment.  

The RUSH gaming festival will bring together the largest gathering of entertainers, streamers and fans to the Riyadh Front, one of the 14 zones dedicated to entertaining guests. 

It is set to be an annual event with the official curtain opening taking place on Oct. 22 and will run for five days until Oct. 26.

The festival is expected to attract thousands of e-gamers to the heart of the capital to enter into competitions and challenges in a variety of games.

More than 18 different gaming tournaments, including Tekken 7, Peggy, Overwatch, FIFA 2022, Call of Duty, as well as the largest cosplay competition, and prizes totaling SAR 1 million ($266,612) — are some of what people can expect at RUSH’s first edition later this week.

Some of the competitions will be broadcasted for viewers to live-stream remotely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, in addition to catching some of the live performances in between.

The cosplay competition will take place on Oct. 25 where the winners will be crowned. Registration for participation has been closed since Oct. 13.

Fans of the fictional universe who registered will compete for “best costume”, modeled after their favorite character, and stand to win a grand prize of SAR 70,000 ($18,662), under the observing eyes of local and international judges.

The second edition of Riyadh Season will launch on Oct. 20, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) Turki Al-Sheikh announced in August.

Ticket prices including VAT cost SAR 50 ($13) and can be found on the Riyadh Season website. 

According to the terms and conditions, the ticket must be added to the Tawakkalna application to be able to enter.

“A ticket that’s not linked to Tawakkalna will show on our system,” Al-Sheikh said in a tweet on Monday. “We’re taking the strictest measures to ensure the black market ends here and now.” 

In the event of a cancellation, ticket holders will receive a refund in the form of credit that can be used to purchase a ticket to the same event or any other event, with the credit only valid for the duration of the season.

The Riyadh Season was first held in 2019, beginning in October and ending in January 2020 — shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic brought such events to a grinding halt.