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Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

All-Russia Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art
Embassy of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Bahrain

Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Bahrain National Museum

Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Russian Federation

present

The Days of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Russia

The Days of Bahrain Culture will be held this autumn in Moscow  for the first time in the history of the diplomatic and cultural relations of the two countries. This cultural program will present a glimpse on the cultural heritage and the visual art and musical traditions  of the Kingdom to the Russian public.

The Days of Culture will open on September 16, 2013 at the All-Russia Decorative Art Museum with two exhibitions: The Pearl of the Persian Gulf, and The Contemporary Artists of Bahrain. These exhibitions reflect on the main trends in the current cultural policy of Bahrain: the promotion of its heritage, including the unique, revived tradition of pearling with its centuries long history, and the ultimate support of the contemporary art process.

H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Culture Minister of Bahrain, will open the Bahrain Days of Culture in Russia in person.

EXHIBITION

THE PEARLS OF THE PERSIAN GULF: 5000 of pearling history in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain – the island of the two seas – is the only island Arab state in the Western part of the Persian Gulf. Bahrain stands out by its cultural distinctiveness and longstanding rich Heritage. Favored by privileged location at a crossroads of trade routes in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain has always been home to diverse people and open to new goods and new ideas.

In the 4th millennium BC, Bahrain – known then as Dilmun – was an international trading place. It was viewed by the Sumerians as a sacred earthly paradise in which people enjoyed immortality, mainly due to its luxuriant gardens and gushing sweets waters.

Pearls are the national pride of Bahrain. The island won the reputation of a global pearling center due to the abundance and the quality of this natural wonder which is harvested here. The oysters beds off the coast of Bahrain produce the purest pearls. The Bahrain pearls have a peculiar luster as they are born in the salt water of the Gulf where fresh water bubbles through the bottom sand. So, the very process behind the growth of Bahrain pearl is a unique natural phenomenon. Ancient scholars, merchants, and travelers wrote about the pearl fisheries of Bahrain and the exquisite Bahraini pearls.

In 2012, "Pearling, Testimony of an island economy" a 2 miles long path in the heart of the city of Muharraq, second main island in Bahrain, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This path consists of three oyster beds located in the northern territorial waters of Bahrain, a seashore and a fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island and seventeen buildings.

The Pearls of the Persian Gulf. 5000 years of pearling history in Bahrain will present rare and exclusive samples of natural pearls, illustrates the history of pearling starting from its emergence and its culmination in the late 19th- early 20th centuries, its demise in the period before the 1950s associated with the start of oil production, and its revival in our days as a carefully preserved national heritage.

The exhibits draw on the collection of the Bahrain National Museum, the first Museum to open in the countries of the Persian Gulf which has one of the richest archaeological collections in the region at present spanning 6000 years of history.

EXHIBITION

THE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS OF BAHRAIN: New Horizons

The culture of Bahrain, the country located at the crossing of sea trade routes, has combined the wealth of Eastern traditions with Western influences. The 20th century brought about radical changes in the political and economic standing of the country creating extremely favorable conditions for an active cultural and creative life. In the 1970s, side by side with the artists who followed classical traditions in their work, a generation of experimenting artists emerged. Today they are regarded as the pioneers of contemporary art in Bahrain for they were the ones to introduce new trends and to enrich the vivid art process with new approaches.

Works by 4 leading Bahraini artists, painters, graphic artists, sculptors who already won recognition were selected for the exhibition in Moscow. Its display features 18 artworks provided by the National Museum of Bahrain and by the artists themselves which present the evolution of the most important trends in the modern visual culture of Bahrain in its development from figurative painting and calligraphy like graphics, through abstract compositions, to "converse" 3D objects.

The cultural dialogue between the West and the East, the interest to the modern culture of Bahrain has been on the rise recently. More and more often Persian Gulf states take part in the international forums and biennale of contemporary art and architecture (Bahrain was awarded the Gold Lion of the architecture biennale in Venice in 2010).

Artists:

Ms. Balqees Fakhroo

Mr. Abdulrahim Sharif

Mr. Khalil Al Hashemi

Mr. Ahmed Baqer