Hennessy XO Celebrates its 150th Anniversary in Nairobi

Article by Oliver
Posted: September 26, 2020  

Hundreds of thousands of followers around the world tuned in via Livestream as Maison Hennessy hosted “A World Odyssey”, a unique global art spectacle presented on the Charente River in Cognac, France, and live-streamed across the globe.

In Kenya, the event brought together top tier CEOs from the region to celebrate a century and a half of creating and mastering the perfect blend of Hennessy XO. Conceived and executed by the renowned contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, the daytime fireworks event was launched from 150 oak barrels anchored on the Charente’s surface that echoed Hennessy X.O’s 150th anniversary.

Like a theatrical performance, this artistic odyssey exploded with drama, poetry, colour, and emotion, with multi-coloured fireworks unfolding in three acts, through an acknowledgement of pain as an inevitable part of the cycle of life and nature, the fireworks paid tribute to perseverance, optimism and the triumph of resilience.

The event was yet another instance of the energy, persistence, and hope demonstrated by Maison Hennessy this year to support its communities in Cognac and internationally. “World Odyssey” carries a dual message from the illustrious cognac maker and the artist, one of consolation to those affected by the pandemic, and of confidence in the future that was live-streamed across digital platforms.

“Staging the event on the Charente as a metaphor for Hennessy’s history seems appropriate—the river was the channel through which its cognac travelled to the rest of the world. Fireworks in the daytime alluded to another dimension of poetry, as the smoke created forms akin to wild cursive scripts written in the air. There’s a feeling of freedom and movement despite the unknown; of creating joy and persisting despite obstacles in an unpredictable context.” Said Laurent Boillot, chairman, and CEO of Hennessy:

“2020 will remain in all our memories for its uncertainty and difficulty”. But for the Maison Hennessy, this is also the 150th anniversary year for an iconic cognac, Hennessy X.O. This exceptional performance is intended as a message of hope — and we feel that today it is practically our duty to be optimistic. Cai Guo-Qiang’s work has impalpable poetry, as does Hennessy X.O. It is our pleasure to host this fireworks event for the people of Cognac, and our friends all over the world.”

In keeping with a shared commitment to health and environmental protection, Maison Hennessy and Cai Guo-Qiang ensured that the “A World Odyssey” daytime fireworks event was staged using exclusively non-toxic, biodegradable, CE-certified pyrotechnic products. These products were sourced from a manufacturer aligned with EU environmental regulations. The event was held by the most stringent health measures.

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