Russia State Hermitage Museum
Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia saw two of its female artists – Lulwah Al-Homoud and Daniah Al-Saleh – head to Russia to participate in a major international exhibition in St. Petersburg that aims to look at the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in modern art. The unique exhibition was organized by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the State Hermitage Museum. This month, it is being reported that the Hermitage is in talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility of opening a satellite museum in the Kingdom.
According to The Art Newspaper, the meeting first took place during Hermitage Day in Oman, held at the National Museum in Muscat, where Mikhail Piotrovsky, dean of St Petersburg University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies, also gave a talk in Arabic on “the distinctive features of the study and presentation of Islamic art in the Hermitage.” The AI-focused exhibition is not the first time the State Hermitage Museum and Saudi Arabia have worked together. As pointed out by the website, the Hermitage hosted the travelling Saudi exhibition Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia back in 2011.
This week, the exhibition in which Al-Homoud and Al-Saleh are taking part in, entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue,” launched and saw the participation of Saudi Arabia’s much-celebrated King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Khalid Al-Zamil, acting director general of Ithra, discussed the cultural and artistic cooperation with the RDIF and institutions such as the Hermitage Museum.
“This exhibition provides an ideal opportunity for the Ithra to enhance the presence of Saudi talent on the global platforms and to build cultural bridges between the Kingdom and the world. The two artworks presented in a world-class platform such as the Hermitage Museum reflect the potential of Saudi talent and the infinite bounds to which these talents can reach,” he said.