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Paris expo showcases Diriyah's landscape

Diriyah’s earthen treasures on show in Paris

RIYADH, February 23, 2024

A multidisciplinary exhibition (February 22 to 29) showcasing Saudi Arabia’s historic district Diriyah’s landscape has opened in Paris, France, a report said.

‘The Earthen Testaments’, exploring Diriyah’s natural and built landscapes through imagery, film, artefacts, and contemporary artworks commissioned from Saudi artists, will be on show at Segur Hall, UNESCO House, in Paris, France, Saudi Press Agency said.

The exhibition combines historical remnants and archaeological objects to offer a wider lens into Diriyah, a town located in the north-western outskirts of Saudi capital, Riyadh. Home to Unesco World Heritage Site, At-Turaif, Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty.

“The Earthen Testaments presents, through the visionary work of contemporary Saudi artists, a window into the world of Diriyah and At-Turaif. For this enriching cultural exchange, we extend our sincere gratitude,” said Fahad bin Maayouf Al Ruwaily, the Saudi ambassador to France and Monaco and interim permanent delegate of the Kingdom to UNESCO.”

According to Diriyah Gate Development Authority CEO, Jerry Inzerillo, “It is an honour to unveil The Earthen Testaments—an exhibition that celebrates and preserves the cultural heritage of Diriyah.

"As a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Kingdom, At-Turaif represents the birthplace and gateway to Saudi Arabia, and it is a privilege and great responsibility to share Diriyah’s stories, values, culture, art, and heritage with the world through this exhibition.”

The exhibition, presented by the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, combines historical remnants and archaeological objects with contemporary responses from various Saudi artists, offering a wider lens into Diriyah’s heritage and values through material traces.

Artwork and film are juxtaposed with a selection of material excerpts, archival images, historical maps, poetry, and an interview with a descendent of the master builder of At-Turaif.

Numerous elements immerse visitors in the unique properties of At-Turaif and its intimate link between landscape, natural resources, and the history of place. The Earthen Testaments presents a glimpse into the story of this historical city and its people through an exploration of its materials.

The exhibition combines arcaheological fragments, archival photographs, film, poetry, and artwork by Saudi artists Rasha AlRashed (b.1985), Omar Abduljawad (b.1989), Ali AlSumayin and the collective Bricklab (Est. 2015).

In addition, the artisan Abdullah AlSayegh and the perfumer Bader AlHarqan have crafted a Diriyah-inspired giveaway.

Visitors will be able to trace the material as witness to the stories of the Wadi and the archaeological structures of the sites and experience the tangible and intangible heritage of the area, stepping into a site that stands today as the gateway to the establishment of the story of Saudi Arabia today.




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