A Pakistani artist is well on his way to complete what he calls a first-of-its-kind project to cast the Holy Quran with gold and aluminium-plated words, part which will be displayed at Expo 2020 Dubai.
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“Expo 2020 Dubai is one the biggest events to take place in the region. I consider it to be the perfect platform to showcase my creative work to millions of visitors over a period of six months,” says internationally renowned artist Shahid Rassam.
Addressing a Press conference at Pakistan Association Dubai, Rassam said he will present Surah Rahman as part of the world's largest Holy Quran to be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Award-winning artist Shahid Rassam, who is developing the first-of-its-kind project to cast the Holy Quran with aluminium and gold-plated words, said he will display 'Surah Rahman -- the heart of Holy Quran' as part of his creative concept that is in line with the Expo them of 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'.
"I will be using about 200kg gold and 2,000kg aluminium to cast around 80,000 words on 550 pages. Each page will have 150 words," Rassam said.
The creative artist said he is committed to complete the project by 2025 after showcasing part of it at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Rassam, who is principal at the Arts Council Institute of Arts and Crafts in Karachi, is all praise for the wise and visionary leadership of the UAE to host six-month long Expo despite the challenging environment worldwide in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elaborating the project, he said the Holy Quran has been inscribed on a high-quality canvas with aluminium and gold-plated letters for the first time in more than 1,400-plus Islamic history.
"The Holy book so far written in the conventional methods of paper, cloth and animal skin. I take up the challenge to do something different and so far moving forward successfully," Rassam said.
200 artists working on project
The creative artist said the size of the Holy Quran is 6.5 feet by 8.5 feet excluding frame.
"I have trained my students and a group of talented artists to work on different aspects of the world's largest Holy Quran. About 200 artists now working on the project," Rassam said.
To a question, he said the iconic project is self-sponsored but his friends are supporting the initiative.
"I'm open to welcome any support coming from the community. It's a great one-of-a-kind project and not an easy challenge to achieve without a mass support from all segments of the society," he said.
In reply to a question where the project will be displayed at the Expo, he said it is not yet finalised.
"Being a Pakistani, I wish it should be displayed at Pakistani pavilion. I'm also in talk with some other participating nations who are willing to showcase my work at their pavilions," Rassam said.
Dr Faisal Ikram, president, Pakistan Association Dubai, said it is a pride moment that an overseas Pakistani and an award-winning artist doing a magnificent project.
"Mr. Rassam has taken up a huge challenge and we all are anxiously waiting to see his quality work at Expo 2020 Dubai," he said.
"Pakistan Association Dubai assures full support to Shahid Rassam to showcase this noble project at the exhibition starting this week," Dr Ikram said.
Irfan Mustafa, a Dubai-based entrepreneur and leading corporate leader, said Shahid Rassam is a well-known artist and famous for his quality work.
"I have full confidence in Shahid Rassam and I'm sure he must be bringing out a quality art work at Expo 2020 Dubai," said Mustafa.
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