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Abdullah bin Zayed receives Moai replica from Chilean Ambassador

posted on 03/05/2012: 2484 views

The UAE's Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met Chilean Ambassador Jean-Paul Tarud during his tour of the ‘Treasures of the World's Cultures' exhibition at Manarat Sa'adiyat.

Sheikh Abdullah received a gift of the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a token of UAE-Chilean friendship and to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE.

The gift is a 3.5 metre high wooden replica, weighing nearly 3 tons, of a Moai statue from Easter Island, (Rapa Nui), a remote Chilean-owned island over 3500 km off the coast of South America in the Pacific Ocean. The replica, which will be on permanent display in the outer garden of Manarat Sa'adiyat, was carved in the UAE from a single specially-imported wooden log by Rapa Nui artist Christian Tuki with the help of the architect Rodrigo Pumarino. A second replica will later go on display in Dubai.

Easter Island was discovered by a Dutch explorer in 1722, and its stone Moai statues, which have been afforded UNESCO World Heritage status, have fascinated people ever since. Measuring up to 15 metres, they can weigh over 90 tons. They were carved in stone quarries and then moved several kilometres to their current locations by the island's Polynesian inhabitants, who had no knowledge of metal or the wheel.

"To the Rapa Nui inhabitants, the Moai are a symbol of remembrance of the achievements of their ancestors, so that history is never forgotten," Tarud said in a statement. "It is to honour the achievements of the UAE leadership and the people of this great nation for the past 40 years that the Government of Chile has commissioned these artworks."

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also toured the ‘Treasures of the World's Cultures' exhibition, organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, in association with the British Museum. He was accompanied by the Authority's Chairman, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan and the Chilean Ambassador.

Bringing life to elements of human history dating back 2 million years, the exhibition addresses universal themes such as leadership, heritage and faith. On display are over 250 exceptional objects, loaned by the British Museum, the Al Ain National Museum, Sharjah Archaeology Museum and from a private collection, providing a universal context for the history of the UAE and the Middle East region. Inaugurated in mid-April, the exhibition is open to the public until 17th July. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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