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RIYADH: A French luxury goods conglomerate hosted some of its most exclusive and unique pieces at the historical site of At-Turaif to highlight the breadth of its craftsmanship alongside the rich history of the Kingdom.
“The legacy of our present lives on as we proudly present ‘Al-Thara wa Althuraya,’ a ground-breaking event for Cartier as the first global brand to exhibit in this historic site and the birthplace of the Kingdom,” Kalid Lanssari, managing director of Cartier Saudi Arabia said.
The inauguration took place on March 17 in front of Salwa Palace, which was once the historic ruling center of the first Saudi state. On the opening evening of the exhibition, the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Roussel, performed accompanied by Sawsan Al-Bahaiti, the first Saudi opera singer. The exhibition will run until March 26 at Prince Omar and Prince Saad palaces in At-Turaif.
At-Turaif is a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s rich history and provides a look into the classic Najdi architecture of the 1700s.
Forty exquisite jewelry pieces were displayed at the Prince Omar bin Saud Palace under five different sections marking specific design styles, including fauna and flora, geometry and contrast, architecture and epure, cultural explorations, and ludique.
At Prince Saad Palace, Cartier displayed their heritage museum pieces — a special team is dedicated to acquiring these one-of-a-kind Cartier creations from around the word once they go up for auction.
Prince Omar bin Saud Palace was once the home of the son of Imam Saud Al-Kabir. The palace, nicknamed the “Grand Palace,” was one of the locations chosen for Cartier’s collection exhibition due to its complex design and architecture.
The exhibition aims to pay homage to the connection between Cartier design and Diriyah as a hub for culture, art, and history.
“At Cartier, we find inspiration in the world’s diversity. As a maison, we have been anchored in the peninsula since 1912,” Lanssari explained.
This is the first high jewelry event hosted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riyadh. The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has partnered with Cartier to bring this exhibition to life.
“Diriyah is known as the ‘Jewel of The Kingdom.’ We have proven this of late, as we start to host a range of arts and culture programs for the burgeoning audiences from across Saudi Arabia,” Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of DGDA, said.
“As a global destination for historical and cultural enthusiasts, ‘Al-Thara wa Althuraya’ exhibition is an ideal complement to what we do and most importantly pays respect to Saudi’s rich and diverse history,” he added.
“Our founder Jacques Cartier first visited the region looking for extraordinary pearls and came back with much more: Friendships, memorable moments shared with locals, and great sources of inspiration, which continue to influence the unique creativity evident in our designs,” Lanssari said.
The exhibitions were displayed in the two palaces featuring the Cartier heritage museum pieces and the newly launched designs were inspired by various cultures and regions. Forty exquisite jewelry pieces were displayed at the Prince Omar bin Saud Palace under five different sections marking specific design styles, including fauna and flora, geometry and contrast, architecture and epure, cultural explorations, and ludique.
The founder of Cartier, Louis-François Cartier, was known for his open-mindedness, creativity and passion, and interest in diverse cultures. This is how he grew his inspiration for the maison and evolved the brand into unique pieces that highlight the different regions around the world. The new designs each feature bold contrasts of colors and designs that pay homage to various cultures including India and Arabia.
Cartier is dedicated to preserving and honoring the beauty and heritage of their treasured pieces no matter where they are in the world. Thirty-seven rare heritage pieces were displayed, such as Princess Margaret’s rose clip brooch made as a special order by Cartier London in 1938; a scroll tiara sold to Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians in 1910; and the choker necklace made by Cartier Paris as a special order in 1928 for Sir Bhupinder Singh, maharaja of Patiala, which was found and restored in 2008 after the center yellow diamonds went missing. The choker, originally created for a man, has only been worn by one woman in the world — the pop star Rihanna.
“This collaboration is a true honor and we would look forward to the journey ahead,” Lanssari said.
“This partnership has been a pleasure and we loved welcoming our guests of honor and look forward to the following days,” said Inzerillo.
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