Misk Foundation’s ‘Incense Route’ exhibition opens in Paris


Saudi Gazette report

– Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation (Misk Foundation) launched an exhibition titled ‘Incense Route’ at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris on Monday.

The launching ceremony was held in the presence of UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Saudi Ambassador to France Khaled Al-Anqari, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO Ibrahim Al-Balawi, Secretary General of Misk Foundation Badar Al-Asakir, and several other officials, diplomats and cultural figures at Segur Hall of UNESCO.

Speaking on the occasion, Bokova praised the commendable efforts of the Foundation in organizing an event whose message is of intercultural convergence, youth assistance and education, a message and work being carried out by the UNESCO itself. Highlighting the significance of holding such an exhibition, she emphasized the importance of artistic culture and its key role in the society.

In his speech, Al-Anqari lauded the exhibition, describing it as one of the most important and most beautiful initiatives launched by the Misk Foundation as its first foreign edition after the great success of the Misk Art Exhibition in Riyadh.

“The very naming of the exhibition as ‘Incense Route’ is historically linked to the trade of caravans that started from the south on the Yemeni coast of the Arabian Sea and passing through the Arabian Peninsula to the north of the Mediterranean Sea and from there to Europe, carrying incense and spices.

Today, the name came back through this technical initiative to connect the present with the past, and to remind our current generations of the importance, heritage and impact of the history of this region and its connection to the world.”

Al-Anqari praised the efforts and initiatives made by the Misk Foundation to promote thinking ability of the youth and open wider horizons for them in various domains besides connecting them with their community. “We see these initiatives success after success,” he said and thanked the foundation for the initiatives to connect with the peoples of the world.

On his part, Al-Balawi said that the exhibition is a message that carries in its essence the highest meaning of dialogue and communication between peoples. He pointed out that the incense route is one of the oldest commercial routes linking the East with the West.

The five-day event is open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.through Oct. 13.

The exhibition showcases a new wave of contemporary Saudi art, carrying unique messages inspired from the Arabian traditions. The artists are attempting to follow the footsteps of those who mastered the incense route and overcome the hardship of the desert to deliver their frankincense and other goods to diverse areas carrying back an enriched experience formed by their ability to appreciate and accept cultural differences throughout this journey.

The exhibition delivers new concerns searching the human value in the age of globalization and wonders about the new forms of the Incense Route and the alternative routes particularly under the influence of modernization and advanced technology.

It rethinks the importance of defending the cultural differences under the new circumstances and questions whether adhering to one’s traditions is threatening the homogeneity of our global world or hindering the congruence between human diversity.