Over the years the sculptures of Jeddah have become very familiar to the residents of the city. Enjoyed by both the individual and the collective conscience, we have grown up with them, playing alongside them as children, walking and relaxing amongst them as adults. But over the years many of the sculptures have suffered from Jeddah’s warm climate, from the effects of sand and sea. Mayor Farsi’s vision was beginning to look a little worn. So in 2011 Art Jameel embarked on a major project of restoration, to ensure that these sculptures, by famous artists including Henry Moore and Joan Miró, should continue to play an important part in the life of the city.
Some sculptures have been restored to their former glory; others were reinforced and made secure. Many of the most significant works have been relocated to an open air sculpture park on Jeddah’s famous Corniche, part of a wider development to create a wonderful recreational area along the coastal strip. The book, 'Sculptures of Jeddah', tells the story of the restoration against the background of Dr Farsi’s original vision of the city and as part of the research it was my privilege to meet the former mayor and to interview him. I also met Julio Lafuente just shortly before his death in 2013, whose ideas for the beautification of the city were so influential. It is my belief that this renewal of Dr Farsi’s vision for Jeddah signals a new golden age for the city – in art, in culture, in its urban environment. And it is my hope that the city of Jeddah, and those who visit, will continue to find enjoyment and inspiration in this unique artistic landscape.