THE maritime diversity of Tonga, Mexico and Egypt are showcased in an awe-inspiring exhibition by two artists.
Making its second stop at the Bahrain National Museum after its successful opening at the Venice Natural History Museum, ‘The Living Sea’ features the work of photographer and author Prince Hussain Aga Khan and director of underwater documentaries Simone Piccoli, who met in November 2014 during a dolphin expedition that the latter was guiding in Sataya, Red Sea.
Their passion for marine life took them on a fascinating journey to explore the hidden marvels of the deep sea in Egypt, and in the following years, the duo set their sights on Vava’u, one of Tonga’s two main islands in whose deep waters whales go to give birth every summer.
Through his exceptionally vivid pictures, Prince Khan takes visitors to Tonga, where thousands of people from around the world come to watch and swim with humpback whales during the summer.
The pair also visited the islands of the Revillagigedo, off the coast of Mexico, where the waters are known to host mega faunas proliferate, such as oceanic manta rays, silver, white-tipped, silky, hammerhead sharks and gigantic whale sharks.
The exhibit also takes visitors on a journey through Egypt’s Sataya and Elphinstone coral reefs.
Sataya is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful coral reefs where several pods of Long Snout Spinner Dolphins come to rest and play daily.
The Elphinstone reef is located 12km offshore and about 30km from MarsaAlam, also famous for being one of the few places on Earth where visitors can dive with the Hawksbill Turtles.
‘The Living Sea’ exhibition sheds light on the efforts to conserve marine life and stresses the importance of protecting the biodiversity of marine organisms from human activities such as overfishing, sea transport, dumping toxic substances and waste into the sea and the ensuing danger of similar activities which leads to the deterioration of the habitats and livelihood of these marine animals.
A special section of the exhibition highlights important, detailed information about marine animal species such as cetaceans, turtles, sharks and finfish such as seals and sea lions, as well as their endangered categories, with figures that reveal their significant decline during the past decades.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca), the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage and Focused on Nature, the Swiss association created by Prince Khan to promote the awareness of environmental causes and finance some of the best charities in the world for particular species and ecosystems of interest and marine biodiversity through photography.
The opening ceremony was attended by Baca president Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage board of directors chairperson Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa; as well as other ministers and ambassadors.
The event is open to the public until March 9.