29th April 2019
Gerry Judah sculpture unveiled by the Emir of Sharjah at the launch of Sharjah UNESCO World Book Capital

The installation of a landmark sculpture has taken place in Sharjah marking the start of a year of celebrations as the Emirate becomes the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. The sculpture was unveiled on Tuesday 23rd April, World Book Day, by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, emir of Sharjah. 

Gerry Judah’s monument, titled The Scroll, stands close to Sharjah University City and Sharjah International Airport, at the front of the House of Wisdom, designed by Foster + Partners to be completed in 2020.

Commissioned by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, engineered by Diales, and built by Rimond, the monument has been made possible by hundreds of people who have worked together to realise Judah’s design

The Scroll is a contemporary interpretation of the ancient Arabic scrolls – a single, spiralling sculpture that loops towards the sky. The design and inspiration are representative of a celebration of reading and the power of books to unite people, central to the purpose of the House of Wisdom and that of the UNESCO World Book Capital initiative. 

‘I am delighted to have been commissioned to create The Scroll as a monument to stand in front of Sharjah’s new House of Wisdom. The work is inspired by the early form of written word and represents the long-lasting power and significance of books and reading to culture and heritage.’ Gerry Judah, artist

Due for completion in 2020, the House of Wisdom is an iconic Library and Cultural Centre, designed by international architects Foster + Partners. Reinterpreting the library as a social platform for learning supported by innovation and technology, the House of Wisdom represents a new moment for Sharjah as an international cultural capital.  No move into the future is complete without an understanding of the past, and the name House of Wisdom is a reference to the institution of the same name dating from the Abbasid Caliphate. Known as an incredibly significant centre in Arab and Islamic civilisation, it is intended for this new landmark to again be a significant centre for knowledge, literacy, scientific discovery and learning. As a prototype for how libraries in the future will connect between traditional and digital knowledge sources, the House of Wisdom will be defined as a centre for social engagement across all age groups and nationalities. 

Image Credit: The Scroll © Gerry Judah