Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Representative of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah opened in Rome yesterday the ‘Art of the Islamic Civilization’ exhibition, organized by Kuwait’s Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (DAI).Representing His Highness the Premier, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, received Mattarella at the Scuderie del Quirinale museum in the Italian capital.
Sheikh Salman, also chairman of Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) conveyed greetings from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister to the president.The museum, an affiliate building of the Republican Palace, is forecast to attract many of the millions of tourists and visitors who flock to Italy, particularly Rome, during these times of the year for recreation and close look at the nation’s historic treasures.
The opening ceremony of the first exhibition for Islamic arts in Rome, was attended by DAI’s Director General Sheikha Hessa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Italy Ali Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Rome Mayor Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino and senior officials of the city. Scuderie del Quirinale’s top officials also attended, together with a host of Italian political, cultural and media figures.Touring the exhibition, the Italian president expressed admiration for the unique items on display, crystallizing Islamic creativity and culture. He lauded Kuwait’s leading role in support of human culture and heritage. Up to 363 unique pieces, including jewels and manuscripts, are on display.
The exhibition, 25 July - 20 September, is divided into two parts. The first, which is strictly chronological, begins with a small numismatic section designed to provide a historical and geographical introduction to the main stages in the development of Muslim civilizations. It ends with the three great 16th century empires: the Turkish Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean; the Iranian Safavid Empire and the Indian Mughal Empire with its fairy-tale opulence.The second part of the exhibition probes the crucial artistic themes and modes of Islamic art, ranging from the formal stringency of its mesmerizing calligraphy and its learned and scientific exploration of the world of mathematics and geometry, to the endless imagery of the repeated floral motif known as the Arabesque and the abstract and realistic depiction of animal and human figures.
The exhibition ends with the glittering splendor of treasure, in the shape of the items of the goldsmith’s art that are the boast of the Al-Sabah Collection, which in terms of the quantity and quality of its pieces in this field is unrivalled anywhere in the world.