Programme Overview Riyadh 2006 – 2007

Following the success of the third Painting & Patronage initiative, the fourth Painting & Patronage initiative was formally launched in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on 15 April 2007.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia granted his High Patronage over the event, which consisted of the first ever exhibition of leading Portuguese contemporary art and photography in Saudi Arabia.  The exhibition was held at the Al-Faisaliah Tower in central Riyadh.

Among the art works on display were those of Rita Magalhaes, Daniel Blaufucks, Alberto Carneiro, Mariana Viegas, Cristina Mateus, Mariana Viegas, Edgar Martins, Mario Pires Cordeiro, Noronha da Costa, Baltazar Torres, Pedro Calapez, Valdemar Santos, Armando Alves, Joao Hogan, Manual Amado, Domingos Pinho, Mario Cesariny, Nikias Skapinakis, Joao Queiroz and Marta Ramos.

HRH Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Aviation and Inspector General, formally opened the initiative on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud in the presence of other leading Saudi Arabian and Portuguese statesmen including HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, HE Prof Dr Isabel Pires de Lima, Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic, HE Dr Iyad bin Ameen Madani, Minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of Painting & Patronage, Mr Anthony Bailey.

Among other Saudi Arabian officials attending were HRH Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of Riyadh, HRH Prince Turki Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, HRH Prince Bandar bin Mohammed bin Abdurrahman, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, HRH Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Deputy Governor of Riyadh Region, HRH Prince Saud bin Abdulmohsen bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of Ha’il Region, HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Assistant Minister of Defence and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs; HRH Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Saud, Assistant Chief of General Intelligence, other members of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, HE Dr Sheikh Salih bin Abdullah bin Homaid, Chairman of the Shoura Council, Dr Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, Sheikh of Al-Azhar and other ministers, senior civil and military officials and Ambassadors of numerous countries accredited to Saudi Arabia.

Among the Portuguese Delegation were HE The Ambassador of Portugal to Saudi Arabia, HE Dr Aristides Goncalves, Prof Dr Diogo Pires Aurelio representing HE Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of the Portuguese Republic and Prof Dr Alexandre Melo representing HE José Sócrates, Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic. Also attending were senior advisers of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economics, the Deans of the Universities of Lisbon, Porto, Algarve and Evora, the Head of the National Archives, the Director of the National Palace of Sintra, as well as several prominent writers, artists and landscape architects.

Among the guests of Painting & Patronage were Mrs Marta Amado, wife of the Foreign Minister of Portugal, Dr Maria Joao Burstoff, former Minister of Culture of Portugal and Dr Abdool Magid Vakil, leader of the Islamic community in Portugal.

In his address Prince Khalid Al-Faisal recalled his 2005 Official Visit to Portugal and stated how delighted he was to be able to return the warm hospitality extended to him and to develop and launch a much-needed cultural and educational programme between the two countries. HE Prof Dr Isabel Pires de Lima, Minister of Culture of Portugal and Mr Anthony Bailey, Chairman of Painting & Patronage also delivered opening speeches.  A banquet followed the opening hosted by HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal in honour of the Portuguese Delegation.

As part of the broadening of the Painting & Patronage initiative as approved by King Abdullah in January 2007, the initiative included a significant delegation of leading Portuguese businessmen including the current initiative’s sponsor, the Espirito Santo Investment Bank, which was represented at the Riyadh events by its Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr Miguel Horta e Costa.  During the event, the first Co-operation Agreements were signed between Portuguese and Saudi Arabian businesses aimed at fostering greater trade links between the two countries.

A number of high level roundtables and lectures took place between Saudi Arabian and Portuguese academic, cultural, artistic, and business leaders.  These events took place at the world renowned King Faisal Foundation and focused on cultural, education and business issues between Saudi Arabia and Portugal.

Additional lectures were given King Abdul Aziz Science and Technology Building, the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, the King Saud University, the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the King Abdul Aziz Darat, the Al-Yammamah College, the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the King Fahad Cultural Centre.

Among the Portuguese speakers were Dr Antonio Manuel Moniz, Head of the business delegation, Prof Dr Dias Farinha, Head of Arabic Department of the University of Lisbon, Professor Claudio Torres of the Mertola Islamic Archaeology Centre, Dr Silvestre Lacerda, Head of the Torre do Tombo National Archives and Dr Manuel Pechirra of the Luso-Arab Institute for Cooperation.

HRH Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of Riyadh Province received the Portuguese and Painting & Patronage delegations in audience. HE Dr Iyad bin Ameen Madani, Minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia also received both delegations at the King Fahad Cultural Centre and entertained them to lunch following a Saudi Arabian music and artistic show.

All the Painting & Patronage guests attended the 29th King Faisal International Prize Ceremony, which took place at the Al-Faisaliah Centre in Riyadh.  This event was has held in the presence of HRH Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Managing Director of the King Faisal Foundation and HH Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al-Saud, Deputy Managing Director of the Foundation.

Addressing the gathering, HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal welcomed the attendees saying that Riyadh celebrated scientific innovation and congratulated the winners of the prestigious honour.  The 2007 winners included HE President Mintimer Sharipovich Shaimiev of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, (services to Islam) which was presented in a separate ceremony several weeks ago in Riyadh attended by HE President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Professor Roshdi Hifni Rashed from France (Islamic Studies), Professor Muhammad Al-Omari from Morocco and Professor Mustafa Nasif from Egypt (Arabic language and literature), Professor Fernand Labrie from Canada and Professor Patrick Craig Walshof from the USA, (Medicine) and Professor Sir James Fraser Stoddart from United Kingdom (Chemistry).

HE The Ambassador of Portugal to Saudi Arabia, HE Dr Aristides Goncalves, hosted a dinner in honour of the Portuguese Minister of Culture and her delegation.

A desert dinner was also hosted for the Portuguese delegation, King Faisal International Prize winners and Painting & Patronage delegation by HE Dr Abd Allah Al-Uthaimin, Secretary General of the King Faisal International Prize.

Shortly after the conclusion of the visit the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud appointed HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to the post of Governor of Mecca with the additional rank of Minister.

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