The prestigious Piraino collection came to the Middle East for the first time when it was inaugurated by Her Excellency Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa, the President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, on 21st April 2015, at the Bahrain National Museum.
This celebrated collection of a wide variety of costumes, headdresses and accessories from Sicily and Europe, dating back to the eighteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, is compiled by Professor Piraino, a renowned painter and former professor of History of Costume from Palermo, Sicily. Passionate about art, he had accumulated quite a marvelous selection of garments and accessories over his years, commemorating the craftsmanship of the artisans of the Sicilian society during ancient times.
This unique event that came to an end on 21 July 2015 was a collaborative venture between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Italian Embassy. It was organised in association with the celebrations marking 2015 as ‘The Year of Heritage’ under the slogan ‘Our Heritage… Our Wealth’.
There were over three thousand items on display at our National Museum,, over the period of three months, with the collection of Raffaello Piraino gaining central attraction. The featured items from the collection include ten exquisite handmade garments, originally owned by the Sicilian Aristocracy during the time of ‘Gattopardo’ in 1860 and rare samples from the fashion world of Christian Dior and Worth. Elegant, ornate ball gowns and ceremonial menswear of the period make Il Gattopardo an indispensable part of Italian history. Piraino’s collections have long been on display on different occasions in Palermo and at different museums around the world.
The Bahrain This Week team spoke to Ms. Zaiyeda Ali, a fashion enthusiast visiting the collection who couldn’t hide her admiration of the extensive works on display. “This is marvelous and enchanting. Thanks to our Ministry for giving us this experience,” she said.
The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities has long been known for making continued efforts to bring new experiences to the people of Bahrain. The fruitful endeavor is to entertain, inform and educate the public about the cultures and civilization of our nation and places around the world.