Statement by the Mayor

Mohamed Said Farsi, Mayor of Jeddah, 1972-1986

When a dream turns into reality and when ideas become facts, a person finds that he has to exert even more effort in keeping the vision alive. This is what it feels like to see the open air Jeddah Sculpture Museum as it is now: a physical reality in the Central Corniche of the city of Jeddah. Nestled between the Al Anani Mosque in the south and the Al Salam Palace in the north, the open air Jeddah Sculpture Museum boasts an area that exceeds 7,000 square metres. This great achievement demonstrates the admirable cooperation and coordination between Jeddah Municipality and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI). The project enhances the aesthetics of the city, as it is the first open-air sculpture museum in Jeddah and one of the largest open-air museums in the world. 

Jeddah welcomed sculptors from all over the world, with the first sculpture being a mural painted in different shades of blue oil, and soon the city was home to more than 400 sculptures. The sculptures are characterised by a unified aesthetic look which brings science, technology and nature closer to one another. The main theme, the sea and Islamic culture, is brought to life through a combination of colours and structures that are inspired by the rich blueness of the sea and sky, and the diverse colours of sails, shells and sand. Jeddah Municipality takes great pride in this significant accomplishment. The opening of the Jeddah Sculpture Museum represents an unprecedented achievement, and the museum is an impressive addition to the city of Jeddah’s charming cultural landmarks and tourist attractions.

The Jeddah Sculpture Museum also forms part of the ambitious Central Corniche Development Project, which, once only a dream of the city’s residents, is now a welcome reality. The public-private partnership in various fields continues to lead to great and unique successes, and contributes to creating a qualitative shift in the development and creative process. This reflects positively on the arts scene and enriches it, allowing us to further serve the community. The Jeddah Sculpture Museum, which contains work from renowned and creative international and Arab artists, is a manifestation of the ever-fruitful partnership with the private sector. 

In the light of our collaboration with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, we have successfully managed to restore many of these sculptures to their original shape and colour, and will continue to maintain their beauty. The restoration and maintenance processes were carried out by experts in this field in order to preserve these aesthetic exhibits. The remarkable standard of restoration of the museum’s exhibits, as well as the grand scale of the museum itself, is sure to contribute towards our vision of placing Jeddah in a leading position amongst the world’s major cities. 

His Excellency Dr Hani Mohammed Abu Ras

Mayor of Jeddah

Project design for the Muqarnas Cube, 1979