ALJCI to restore Jeddah Corniche sculptures in cooperation with Jeddah Municipality
As part of the waterfront development on the Jeddah Corniche, Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) has commissioned consultants from Plowden & Smith, a UK company specializing in restoration work, to restore and maintain 27 steel sculptures home to the Jeddah Corniche. These works of art, many of which have been created by prominent international artists, will be restored to their original condition following many years of wear and tear.
The sculptures include works from famous artists such as Henry Moore (UK), Victor Vazarelly and Cesar Baldicini (France), Joan Miro (Spain), Alexander Calder (US), Jane ARB (Germany), and Arab artists, including Mustafa Sunbul (Egypt) and Rabi’a Al Akhras
ALJCI has already designated a special worksho.p boasting an ample space of 700 square metres owned by the Abdul Latif Jameel Co. for the purpose of restoring the sculptures. The workshop has the highly advanced equipment required for the maintenance of these objects. The project has also engaged specialists to dismantle and reassemble the art works in order to protect them properly. Once the work is completed and the sculptures have been returned to the Corniche, they will be properly lit, and an illustrative information map provided for the benefit of visitors to Jeddah.
The sculptures have been divided into two categories based on their size. The first category includes 21 sculptures, which need to be dismantled and transported to the workshop for maintenance. The second category contains the remaining six artworks, which can be maintained on-site. The maintenance plan includes a training program for Saudi artists on preventative methods to protect the sculptures and restoration, ensuring that they will remain in good condition in the future.
Due to the increase in importance given to the sculptures, which were installed along the Corniche since the 1980s, a special location has been found to house them. The new location is north of Al Anani mosque, on an area of 7,000 square metres. The designated area will become an open museum for Jeddah residents and visitors.
Fady Jameel, President of ALJ Community Initiatives International, stated: “ALJCI International is proud to have the chance to cooperate with the Municipality to restore this rare collection of sculptures and return them in their original beauty and glory to the Jeddah community.” Fady Jameel added that this is only the first stage of the project, and will be followed by other programmes to restore other sculptures in Jeddah.
ALJCI is preparing a special book about the project, written by the British author Edward Booth, assisted by the Saudi researcher Maryam Bloding. In addition, a documentary will be produced to highlight the restoration work.
Restoration work and re-installation of the sculptures will be completed over the upcoming months.