Sartonk design belts for Muhammad Ali exhibition in London
The “I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali Exhibit” at the O2 arena in London has kicked off to a successful start. Chronicling the life of one of the greatest personalities and athletes of our time, the exhibit, which will run until August 2016, showcases rare artifacts, from the doorframe of Ali’s childhood home to the gloves he wore in his fight with Henry Cooper in 1963.
SARTONK is proud to have been commissioned to create replicas of Ali’s Ring Magazine Championship belts. “The organisers of the I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali At The O2 exhibition are extremely grateful to the team at SARTONK for creating the replicas of Muhammad Ali’s belts to display as part of the exhibition. The craftsmanship of the belts is exquisite and they generated huge interest at the global media launch, and are proving popular with members of the public visiting the exhibition,” commented Nic Wastell, the Exhibition Coordinator.
Also on display is a replica of the crown that the World Boxing Association commissioned Ardash Sahaghian to make in celebration of Ali’s retirement. The replica was made by Sahaghian himself at the same time that he crafted the original. “This is one of the pieces I’m most proud of,” intimated the elderly patriarch of SARTONK. The crown is entirely hand made and adorned with Swarovski crystals. Next to the crown, Sahaghian’s tools — used for decades on the creation of boxing’s iconic belts, as well as, the crown — are also displayed.
President and Creative Director of SARTONK, Ed Majian, reflected on what making these belts meant to him: “The poetry of this project wasn’t lost upon me. Not only have we always admired the political resistor and athlete that is Muhammad Ali, but the specificity of these belts gave me an opportunity to utilize techniques that I learned from my grandfather and don’t use frequently. Seeing these creations displayed alongside my grandfather’s tools and crown is very rewarding, and I’m grateful to the committee for including us in this testament to boxing heritage and tribute to The Greatest.”