Programme Overview Sintra 2003 – 2005

The hosting of the third Painting & Patronage initiative took place in Sintra, Portugal, from 9-14 September 2005. HE Jorge Sampaio, President of the Portuguese Republic, honoured the initiative by granting his High Patronage to the bilateral cultural programme.

The formal launch ceremony took place on Friday 9 September 2005 at the historic National Palace of Sintra, close to the country’s capital city of Lisbon. The launch event included an exhibition of twenty-seven of the most recent paintings by HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Governor of the Saudi Arabian province of Asir.

President Sampaio formally inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and senior members of both the Saudi Arabian and Portuguese Governments.  Over 500 other leading personalities and opinion formers including statesmen, parliamentarians, diplomats, business leaders, and artists from both countries were present. The President of the Republic, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and Mr Anthony Bailey made speeches at the opening ceremony.

During his speech, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal formally announced the launch of an artistic exchange programme between Saudi Arabia and Portugal. This exchange will initially allow in the first year for up to 30 amateur and professional artists from Portugal to spend a fortnight at the Al-Miftaha Visual Arts Village in Abha, capital city of the Asir province. Each artist will be able to spend time exploring and painting the spectacular landscapes of Saudi Arabia from its mountain ranges, to its shores, and spend time in an Arabian tent among the moving sands of the desert.

A number of high profile events aimed at promoting and encouraging wider bilateral cultural economic and political ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Portuguese Republic.  Among them were a formal luncheon hosted by HE Prof Dr Diogo Freitas do Amaral, Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, a banquet offered by HE Dr Luís Filipe Marques Amado Portuguese Minister of National Defence, a cultural evening at the National Palace of Queluz hosted by HE Dr Isabel Pires de Lima, Minister of Culture and Arquitecto Joao Rodeia, President of IPPAR (Instituto Português do Patrimonio Arqitectonico) and a dinner hosted by the Mayor of the City of Sintra on behalf of the Municipality.

During the weeklong visit, HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal was also received officially in audience by HE President Jorge Sampaio of Portugal at the National Palace of Belem. The Prime Minister of Portugal, HE Dr José Sócrates also held talks with Prince Khalid Al-Faisal at his official residence in central Lisbon.

At the conclusion of the visit, HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal was awarded, by decree of The President of Portugal, the insignia of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique. The Chairman of Painting & Patronage, Mr Anthony Bailey, was decreed Knight Commander with Star of the same Order. Both awards, were made to recognise Painting & Patronage’s contribution to furthering cultural ties between Portugal and Saudi Arabia.

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal officially visited Portugal from 7-14 September 2005 at the joint invitation of the Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Minister of Culture. His Royal Highness had earlier paid a visit to Portugal in 2003 at the invitation of the then Minister of Culture, HE Dr Maria João Espírito Santo Bustorff Silva.

The organisers of the Painting & Patronage in Portugal were the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, IPPAR, the King Faisal Foundation and the Municipality of Sintra and sponsored by Portugal Telecom, Banco Efisa and Buchanan Capital.

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