Some of the most prominent sculptures in Jeddah exposed to the natural elements, strong winds and the salt of the sea
had suffered extensive damage over the last few decades. Therefore, the decision was taken to not only restore them to
their former glory but also to increase their prominence by creating an open-air museum, housing 20 of these sculptures in
a seven square kilometre park along the Jeddah Corniche, known locally as ‘Al Hamraa’.
A lot of work besides restoring the sculptures went into creating what is today the Jeddah Sculptures Museum, the city’s
new centre of creativity, it required an underground infrastructure, and the construction of visitor facilities, as well as new bases for the sculptures.
A restoration project of this size needed meticulous planning and care. International experts, each acclaimed in their field
were deployed. The larger sculptures were restored on-site, whilst the others were disassembled and transported by Mtec
to a high-tech workshop purposely set up by ALJCI to restore them.
Here, Plowden & Smith as experts in restoration continued with the rare opportunity to restore that many valuable artworks
at one time. Nest Studios in the meantime designed the bases with informative placards readable by mobile phone
technology for the sculptures, and Luxpopoli the lighting. Less than two years later, in September 2013, the project was
Whilst local artists, who worked alongside the international experts, are expected to keep the sculptures in shape, giving
them a job and inspiration to create new works, much remains to be done in Jeddah. ALJCI continues to commission
sculptures to artists and is looking at upgrading the remaining sculptures around the city.