Exhibitions - Events - Installations
Press Release about the sculpture "Umbrellas" in Egypt11.06.2018

THE "UMBRELLAS" IN EGYPT

 

The George Zongolopoulos Foundation on Friday, June 8, fulfilled with complete success the installation of the sculpture Umbrellas in Egypt. The working group consisted of five people headed by the President of the Foundation, Mr. Nicos Theodoridis, the General Director, Mr. Angelos Moretis, and the sculpture maker, Mr. Stelios Gikas, with his two colleagues Mr. Andreas Evangelatos and Mr. Arthouros Rossis.

George Zongolopoulos' Umbrellas is a reference point for contemporary art in Greece, being one of the most photographed sculptures around the world.

George Zongolopoulos presented his works in Egypt in 1946, participating in the Cairo Biennale. Today, 72 years later, steel umbrellas with ethereal domes are continuing the dialogue of Egyptian and Greek culture and enhance the Greek-Egyptian friendship as a contemporary art sculpture that dominates both countries.

The sculpture's installation took place under a private initiative and the waterfront that the Umbrellas were placed in Egypt is located in Alexandria area.

The sculpture was set up under particularly adverse conditions because of the extremely high temperature and the sandy soil with the help of a large crane and a cherry picker crane that stuck to the sand without the possibility of access around the sculpture. The three artisans of the project for five days worked continuously for over 15 hours a day and assembled methodically the parts of the sculpture with the help of dozens of Egyptian workers. This assembly was a complex process since the 15 tubes, the 40 umbrellas and the transverse axes that formed the sculpture had to be linked in absolute precision, sometimes on the ground and sometimes at a height of 13 m.

Head of the sculpture's reconstruction was Mr. Stelios Gikas, while the artwork has been worked in the art workshop of his father, Mr. Leonidas Gikas, a master craftsman and collaborator of George Zongolopoulos for 40 years, with whom the sculptor had worked the Umbrellas sculpture located in Thessaloniki. Stelios Gikas, who is now the owner of the workshop, undertook the sculpture's demanding construction that took place in Athens and was transported to Egypt.

The sculpture Umbrellas is made of stainless steel and has a height of 13 m, length 13 m and width 4.5 m. For the installation a 9 m long, 5 m wide and 50 cm thick concrete base was needed. The base's constructural study and the stress test study were prepared and offered by the civil engineer and George Zongolopoulos' collaborator, Mr. Dimitris Bairaktaris.  

The project was carried out following a proposal made by the art consultants company VISTO Images Cyprus, Mr. Seth Rosenbaum, and was acquired by the real estate development company EMAAR.