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Photos: ‘Forever is now’ art exhibition at the Giza Pyramids sees 850,000 visitors

Approximately 850,000 visitors visited the second edition of Art D’Égypte’s ‘Forever is Now’ exhibition, which was held at the Great Pyramids of Giza from October 27 to November 30 and saw 12 local and international artists portray a variety of contemporary sculptures at the foot of the pyramids – combining the ancient past with the present.

Several prominent figures had visited the exhibition, including Queen Sofia of Spain, US billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the UAE’s Minister of Culture Noura al-Kaabi.

The second edition of ‘Forever is Now‘ brought in a talented flock of artists from across the globe to uniquely realize their vision alongside one of the greatest ancient wonders of the world.

These included Egyptian artists Ahmed Karaly, Therese Antoine, Syrian-Swedish artist Jwan Yosef , Liter of Light from the Philippines, Tunisian/French artist eL Seed, Spainish artist SpY, Italy’s Emilio Ferro, British-American artist Natalie Clark, the UAE’s Zeinab Alhashemi, French artist JR, Cameroon’s Pascale Marthine Tayou and Saudi artist Mohammad Alfaraj.

The closing ceremony was attended by the likes of Bushra, director Amir Ramses, Belgian Ambassador François Cornet, Regional Director of the UNESCO Office in Cairo Nuria Sanz, and artists including Karim al-Hayawan, Hani Rashid, Mohammed Abu al-Naja, Therese, Mohammed Ziyad, Husam Zaki, Mina Isaac, amongst others.

Founder of Art D’Égypte Nadine Abdel Ghaffar said that over 800 global media outlets covered the event, bringing a international awareness to it like never before.

“We organized special programs for students such as the art guide program, to educate them more about the artists and artworks and increase their knowledge of the technical aspects of large installations,” she explained.

“Nearly 200 volunteers participated and received training before the exhibition, allowing them to act as tour guides for visitors during the exhibition period. In addition, the exhibition included AR filters for each artwork in partnership with Instagram from Meta to explain each artwork for visitors.”

She added that “The burden on the government is very high, and the private sector must be involved.”

“We started collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in 2017 in coordination with UNESCO to raise awareness about the importance of antiquities and the need to preserve archaeological sites. As a result of our work, the site of the pyramids was chosen for the exhibition to merge between contemporary art and ancient heritage and to bring the past to the present. This year the exhibition coincided with the launch of COP27 held in Sharm El-Sheikh, and several of the artworks incorporated recycled elements to raise awareness on sustainability issues,” she said.

“Our global success last year encouraged us to raise the bar and organize an even more impactful event. We have worked hard over the past years, and we are proud to present this huge exhibition for the second time at the Giza Pyramids, an unmatched UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are reviving the glory of ancient civilizations with public art and contemporary significance through artworks by international and regional artists.”

Ghaffar concluded with a show of thanks to all supporters, advertisers, institutions and official authorities who helped make the event possible, with special thanks to the the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Antiquities, the Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO, the Tourism Promotion Authority, the UAE’s Ministry of Culture and main sponsor Qatari Diar Egypt, amongst others.

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