Islamic Arts Biennale Wins Cultural Excellence Award
The Islamic Arts Biennale was honored with the Cultural Excellence Award at the 15th edition of the Mecca Excellence Awards.
The ceremony was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Emir of Mecca region. This award comes as a recognition of the biennale’s cultural distinction and its role in enriching the creative scene in Saudi Arabia.
The award was received by His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Culture Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation.
The Islamic Arts Biennale falls under the umbrella of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation and was awarded for its cultural distinction and its role in enriching the creative scene in the Kingdom during its first session, which was held at the Western Pilgrims Hall at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah from January 23 to May 23, 2023, under the title “First House.”
Unique Cultural Experience
The Biennale presented a unique artistic and cultural experience covering the history and geography of Islamic arts through past, present, and future, allowing visitors to explore multiple dimensions associated with Islamic arts.
The first session witnessed a significant turnout, exceeding 600,000 visitors, among them were over 3,000 pilgrims and visitors to the holy lands.
Notable attendees included Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, and famous footballer Patrice Evra, among other visitors from various social strata.
The cultural content of the Biennale featured creations from more than 40 artists from around the world, with over 50 pieces of new commissioned works, more than 500 historical artifacts, and over 15 previously unexhibited artifacts.
These were all displayed across five halls, two pavilions, and an outdoor space, traversed through three main paths; the “Qibla” path provided an inner journey exploring Islam and its role in shaping Muslim identity on both personal and societal levels, the “Migration” path offered an external journey showcasing multiple perspectives on migration and its significance in Islam, while the third path, “The Orbit”, housed a separate exhibition gathering rare collectibles.
The Biennale’s entitlement to the Cultural Excellence Award from the Mecca Excellence Awards epitomizes this immersive cultural journey it showcased, celebrating Islamic arts and their prominent role in expressing Islamic identity, features, and their profound impacts on human civilization.
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