Culture Minister exhibits recovered fish sculpture in historic Jeddah

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Saudi Gazette Report

RIYAD – Culture Minister Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan on Monday posted photos of heritage artwork recovered in the historic area of ​​Jeddah. The images showed decorations in the form of fish sculptures and phrases carved into a number of rocks, expressing life in Jeddah.

The minister posted on his Twitter account the works drawn by the famous Saudi artist Abdel Halim Radwi in 1981.

In a tweet, Prince Badr said the heritage pieces were recovered during the demolition of a commercial building and kiosks in the historic area. The images showed decorations in the form of fish and phrases carved into a number of rocks, expressing life in Jeddah.

Radwi, who died in 2006, was one of the Kingdom’s most respected and pioneering visual artists. Radwi is perhaps best known for 15 monumental outdoor sculptures adorning the Red Sea port city, including Inkwell, Pen and Paper, which reproduce these objects on a large scale.

The artist also engaged in the genre of still life as in the 1975 painting, Still Life with Fish, in which he used paint and sand to produce a flattened image of two fish in a geometric composition. cowardly.

Radwi, who received a doctorate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1979, was director of the Jeddah Palace of Fine Arts from 1968 to 1974.

His paintings have traveled to many Arab and Western countries through his exhibitions, while the number of his works has reached around 3,500 works ranging from sculpture, collage, painting and murals.

His works are original and remarkable with a particular emphasis on the Hijazi heritage, in addition to the overall Islamic character. Some of his paintings have been preserved in museums around the world.

Radwi’s artwork was recovered at a time when the historic area of ​​Jeddah is going to experience a massive revival after the launch of the revival project of the historic area of ​​Jeddah by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on September 6 of this year. .

The project will highlight the heritage features of the historic area of ​​the Al-Balad district of Jeddah, which already found its place on the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.

Jeddah has a long history stretching back thousands of years. Historians have traced its foundation to almost 3,000 years ago, as some studies by scholars indicate that there have been human settlements in this area since the Stone Age, as traces and Thamudi writings have been found. in Wadi Briman, east of Jeddah, and Wadi Boweb, northeast of the city.

The historic area is an unprecedented historic site in the kingdom, as it is home to more than 600 heritage buildings, 36 historic mosques, five large historic markets, ancient corridors and squares, and sites of significant historical significance such as the old waterfront, which was a main road for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

The relaunched project will tell visitors to historic Jeddah the great story of the arduous journey of pilgrims to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage since the dawn of Islam.

Work on the renaissance project would extend up to 15 years, during which the historic Jeddah will be developed according to multiple tracks covering infrastructure and services; develop the natural and environmental domain; improving the quality of life; and improving urban characteristics with the aim of making the historic city of Jeddah an inspiring destination in the region.

The project aims to create an integrated environment in the historic city of Jeddah which has multiple natural components, including landscaped waterfronts 5 km long, green spaces and open gardens covering 15 percent of the total land area. Al-Balad in Jeddah and in the 2.5 square kilometer project area.

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