Expo 2020: Chalhoub Group launches ‘The French Art De Vivre’


November 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Chalhoub Group has launched ‘The French Art De Vivre, A Dream to Share’ exhibition at the France Pavilion in Dubai Expo 2020. Through Tanagra, the Middle East’s destination for luxury lifestyle, the exhibition combines creations from the three Maisons: Baccarat, Bernardaud and Christofle, brought together in a spectacular scenography. 

Aligned with the Dubai Expo 2020 theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the exhibition highlights the rich know-how of French craftsmanship, while offering a look into how innovation is driving the future of luxury. The exhibition recreates the beauty of luxurious French heritage through handcrafted masterpieces from the renowned Maisons.

Each space hosts a carefully curated selection of pieces, starting with Christofle, the brand that holds a very special place in Chalhoub Group’s history. It was in 1955 that Michel Chalhoub and his wife Widad, founded the Chalhoub Group in Damascus by opening the first Christofle boutique. For this exhibition, the artisan house curated “Tree of Life”, symbolising Christofle’s attachment to its history, roots, and international influence while also showcasing the unique goldsmith’s expertise and skills that have made the brand famous since its creation in 1830. Featuring a tree measuring 2 meters high, 1 meter in diameter, and weighing nearly 100 kg, including 1 kg of sterling silver and 21 grams of gold, the “Tree of Life” is composed of 37 structural elements, decorated with 142 butterflies; each piece is manually attached to the globe with the UAE landmark Burj Khalifa as the centrepiece. Following the exhibition, the Christofle masterpiece will find its home in a spectacular display at the Dubai Mall. Located at the France Pavilion from the 8th of November until the 6th of December, the exhibition celebrates French savoir-faire, with a focus on handcrafted masterpieces tableware and accessories.

Continuing the journey inside the exhibition with Bernardaud, the leader in French porcelain since 1863. This brand has been treasured by the Chalhoub Group for 30 years, combining French know-how, innovation, creativity, and tradition through the fine art of Limoges. Its latest collaboration with the American artist Jeff Koons will be showcased at the exhibition for the first time; Balloon Dog (Blue), a porcelain limited edition of 799. The porcelain edition references the ten-foot tall stainless steel sculpture,Balloon Dog (1994-2000), which recreates a balloon, twisted into the shape of a dog, in painstaking detail on a monumental scale.

The third legendary Maison Baccarat has been part of the Chalhoub family since the inception of Tanagra and is the leading name in French fine crystal. Creating signature pieces, Baccarat is a true advocate of fine luxury and has become synonymous with unique expertise. One of the brand’s masterpieces in the exhibition is the Medicis XXL by the world-renowned Dutch artist, Hans van Bentem, an impressive and innovative interpretation of the vase created by Baccarat in 1909. Erected like a real sculpture of light some 2.50 meters tall, this exceptional creation, adorned with 13,000 octagons, is a glorious tribute to extravagance and van Bentem’s artistic talent.

“As the UAE is celebrating another global first, the first World Expo in the MENASA region, we are extremely proud to play an integral role in this international event. Being the ‘Thematic Partner’ of the France Pavilion has enabled us to showcase the ‘French art de vivre’ exhibition, a blend combination of culture, craftsmanship and luxury through an immersive experience. The beauty and elegance of French craftsmanship inspired my parents greatly and led to the opening of the first Christofle boutique in Damascus, Syria, in 1955, laying the foundation of our family business. Today, more than 65 years later, I feel extremely humbled that we are still the first to uphold the heritage of French art de vivre, mindfully infused with the UAE’s modernity, at one of the Arab world’s foremost events.”, said Patrick Chalhoub, Group President, Chalhoub Group.

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