Posted on June 06, 2018

A new edition of the critically acclaimed Pearls: Treasures from the Seas and the Rivers exhibition will be travelling to Moscow in July as part of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture. The exhibition is curated specifically for this year’s Year of Culture programme and will display 50 new, never-before-shown artefacts. A Qatar Museums (QM) exhibition, the showcase will be hosted by the World Diamond Museum at the State Historical Museum in Moscow from 11 July 2018 to 1 October 2018.

Comprising 100 pieces of jewellery and other examples of pearl craftsmanship, Pearls: Treasures from the Seas and the Rivers will introduce visitors to a selection of made from freshwater pearls born in Central Asia for the first time. Other masterpiece objects on show at the State Historical Museum will include a spectacular tiara worn by Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria and treasures from other European monarchies.

The exhibition, which is considered one of QM’s flagship initiatives and is the first travelling exhibition organised by the institution, was designed to introduce audiences to the history and transformative impact that the pearl industry had on Qatar and the world. It chronicles pearl fishing in Qatar, providing an insight into the ancient methods and techniques used by pearl divers and an overview of the pearl trade in the Gulf. This is the sixth time that Pearls: Treasures from the Seas and the Rivers has travelled around the world, with the last show taking place in China as part of the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture.

Commenting on the exhibition, its curator Dr. Hubert Bari said: “Pearls have long inspired artists and painters with their quiet elegance and mystery. This diverse exhibition will answer many of the questions surrounding these natural wonders, while taking visitors on a fascinating journey through the history of pearl diving and trade in Qatar. The exhibition is a major highlight of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, which will see two great cultures explore unexpected historical parallels through the use of pearls in traditional design and jewellery making. We hope that this is something that will help bring our people and countries ever closer together.”

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The annual Year of Culture programme is made up of a wide variety of exhibitions and events in addition to literary and art workshops, film screenings, concerts, performances and trade shows. This year’s programme was officially launched at the Embassy of Qatar in Moscow on Qatar National Day. An exhibtion of Qatari culture, taking place simultaneously at the Embassy, introduced guests to Qatari traditions and gave an overview of contemporary Qatar. It was followed by a powerful performance from the renowned Igor Moiseev ballet at the Katara Opera House in Doha in February 2018.

The Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and Russia, including the Embassy of Qatar in Moscow, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Doha, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport and the State Museum and Exhibition Center (ROSIZO.RU). The year is part of the landmark ‘Years of Culture’ initiative developed under the guidance of QM’s Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 2012. It is designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people through mutual exchanges of arts, culture and heritage. It also provides tangible opportunities to build sustainable links and cooperation between creative members of Qatari and Russian society and foster continuous collaboration.

Since its foundation in 2005, QM has been committed to nurturing a deeper understanding of Qatar’s long history of global connections. Through its focus on promoting art, creativity and heritage, it continues to place Qatar at the center of today’s cultural dialogues.