Volker Bassen, an environmentalist who transforms his archaeological discoveries into luxury goods is looking to find a Dubai hotel to become home to a giant clam shell, which he’s crafted into a sink.
The marine conservationist is bringing the 180,000-year-old fossil and its pearl, one of the rarest in the world, to The Hotel Show Dubai 2017 in September, to exhibit alongside the raft of ancient finds he has remodeled into practical furnishings.
The shell, which Bassen excavated in a limestone quarry along the Kenya-Tanzania border weighs 373kg and is be sold as a bespoke sink in the UAE. The proceeds of which will go to charity.
Bassen explained: "Throughout history clam shells have been found in quarries along the East African coast. When I first saw one of them 20 years ago, I was amazed by the sheer beauty and size. The shells have not seen sunlight for at least 180,000 years, at which time they became extinct. Now we are able to bring out their beauty by using skilled craftsmen to carefully clean, grind and polish them."
The archaeologist first went to Africa in 1990, rescuing ancient sea-life fossils along the East African coast and selling them as bespoke pieces for charity. He works on a number of community outreach projects in Kenya and Tanzania and runs the East African Whale Shark Trust which he established in 2005.
This is the first time that Bassen’s collection of giant clam shell fossils will be showcased and sold in the Middle East. One recently sold for US $32,000 (AED 116,800) during the Tucson Gemstone, Mineral & Fossil Showcase 2017 in Arizona.
The Dubai Tourism endorsed event, organised by dmg events and the DWTC, is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors.
Find out more and register to attend at: www.thehotelshow.com