Arab architectural heritage featured in major Kuwaiti exhibition

The works of 220 artists from 15 Arab countries are featured in a virtual exhibition put on by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature (NCCAL) in Kuwait.
Thursday 17/09/2020
 The Omayad Mosque, Joumana Al shikh.(NCCAL facebook)
The Omayad Mosque, Joumana Al shikh. (NCCAL facebook)


The works of 220 artists from 15 Arab countries are featured in a virtual exhibition put on by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature (NCCAL) in Kuwait starting September 15.

The exhibition was held after the National Council won a Getty Foundation grant to study the sustainable protection of art and design and implement metal plates to cover the spherical structures of the Kuwait Towers, designed by the Danish architect Malene Bjorn in 1968.

The participating works revolve around Arab architecture.

According to a press release, the grant obtained by the NCCAL contributes to “protecting the historical and cultural value of the Kuwait Towers, according to the standards of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).”

NCCAL Secretary-General Kamel al-Abduljalil. (NCCAL facebook)
NCCAL Secretary-General Kamel al-Abduljalil. (NCCAL facebook)

The exhibition’s organiser, Ibtisam Al-Asfour, said in statements to German News Agency DPA that “the exhibition will begin…with the participation of artists from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Palestine.”

She said the heritage it highlights is a continuation of the past, a spirit of the present, an inspiration for the future and a historical footprint of civilisations, pointing out that it is embodied in 247 works by 220 Arab artists presenting urban images and visions through different artistic styles.

Asfour pointed out virtual lectures on the Arab world’s architectural heritage, featuring researchers specialised in archeology and heritage, will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition, which will stay open until the end of September.

NCCAL Secretary-General Kamel al-Abduljalil said the large number of participants in the exhibition confirms Arab artists’ interest in architectural heritage, as they present works aimed at documenting the most prominent historical and contemporary monuments in the region.

The statement quoted Abduljalil as saying: “The Arab artist’s interest in his architectural heritage is constant, through his distinguished production. The contribution of this large spectrum of Arab artists proves their keenness to support heritage and interest in the urban aspects in which our Arab countries are rich historically and culturally.”

Abduljalil praised the role of Kuwaiti artists and their brothers from all Arab countries in using art and creativity to spread a message about the importance of architectural heritage and its role in preserving the collective memory of civilisations.

NCCAL Assistant Secretary-General for Culture Dr. Essa Al-Ansari emphasised the importance of all artistic activities in the sector. He noted that the exhibition is a good opportunity for Arab artists to revive the issues of heritage and architecture in their respective countries.