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Giza Pyramids Host Art Show For The First Time In Its 4,500-Year History

Originally built as the resting place of the pharaoh, Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza has stood for over 4,500 years, a testament to ancient history and a humanmade wonder that today draws visitors from across the globe. Indeed, its history and majestic design have made it one of the seven wonders of the world, fascinating travelers, tourists, and the whole world for generations. Surely, all this is what makes it a remarkable spot to host an art exhibition, the first one ever hosted on this site, entitled "Forever is Now."

Curated by Simon Watson and organized by Art D’Égypte, "Forever is Now" is being held at Giza with site-specific artworks on display. The show was made possible after several discussions with UNESCO and Egyptian authorities to allow contemporary artworks on heritage sites.

"For [authorities], it’s a site of antiquities, it’s heritage, but contemporary art is not appealing to them. [...] We changed people’s mentality and now they actually say that the art makes these ancient walls speak," Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, founder of Art D’Égypte, said in a statement quoted by Artnet.

Art D’Égypte was established in 2016 with the goal of making contemporary art, centered around Egyptian heritage, that speaks to onlookers. Surely, just as it has fascinated many for generations, the Giza exhibition is intended to be a love letter to the Great Pyramid.

Amongst key attractions at the exhibition is "Greetings from Giza," a steel-and-mech sculpture of a hand holding a postcard, showing what looks like the upper part of the pyramid levitating. This requires looking at it from a right angle. The exhibit was made by renowned French artist, JR, who had also made a digital copy of the postcard from 4,591 pieces, a number reflecting the precise age of the Great Pyramid. These pieces come together to form what is called a "non-fungible token" (NFT), with "743 hieroglyph rarities" and each with a hidden message.

Currently, JR is just one of ten talented artists taking part in "Forever is Now," with others including Gisela Colón, Joaõ Trevisan, Lorenzo Quinn, Stephen Cox Ra, Sultan Bin Fahad, etc. The exhibition is currently ongoing and will run until November 7, 2021.

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