Politics & News

Saudi Arabia , France discuss ways to enhance cultural cooperation

The Saudi Minister of Culture, Governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, discussed on Sunday with the French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdel-Malik, ways to enhance cultural relations between the two countries, in a way that would benefit the two countries.

The two ministers reviewed – according to the Saudi News Agency (SPA) – various aspects of cultural cooperation between the two countries, which has witnessed steady growth in recent years through joint projects, programs, and initiatives.

Most notably, signing an agreement in 2021 to enhance Saudi-French cooperation and cultural exchange in various cultural sectors, including architecture, design, and heritage, in addition to the agreement signed in 2018 to develop the Al-Ula Governorate and develop its cultural and heritage elements.


The Saudi Minister of Culture affirmed the depth of the relations between the two countries in various fields.

The Ministry of Culture, represented by the Heritage Authority, celebrated during the period from 1-2 December last year, in cooperation with the French Embassy in the Kingdom, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, and in collaboration with the French AFALULA, on the occasion of the twenty years of Saudi-French cooperation in the field of archaeological excavations and surveys.


Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Commission, and Governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate sponsored the celebration.


The Minister of Culture affirmed that archaeological cooperation with the French Republic is an extension of the long-term cultural relationship between the two countries based on a mutual commitment to preserving history and exchanging experiences.


Pointing out that the archaeological projects in the Kingdom helped shed light on the Kingdom’s civilizations and its history that extends for centuries, indicating that they provided the opportunity for French archaeological teams to expand their expertise by working in distinctive and unique sites.


He pointed out that the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Saudi-French cooperation in the field of archaeological excavations and surveys reflects the archaeological achievements between the two countries in field projects, missions, and research initiatives, looking forward to more future opportunities to enhance cultural relations, enhance cultural exchange and enrich joint cooperation between the two countries.


In his turn, the Ambassador of the Republic of France to the Kingdom, Ludovic Boy, explained that the cooperation officially began in 2002 , with the first French-Saudi mission led by the French archaeologist Dr. Leila Naami in the historic city of Al-Hijr in Al-Ula.


However, this historical cooperation dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century, with the trips of French archaeologists to the Kingdom, and there are 16 Saudi-French archaeological missions so far to explore different historical periods in the Kingdom.


From the Neolithic era in Khaybar and Al-Bida to contemporary archeology in the ancient town of Al-Ula, pointing to many strategic partnerships such as the intergovernmental agreement for the development of Al-Ula signed in 2018 with France as one of the Kingdom’s first partners in this field, looking forward to strengthening this exceptional cooperation between the two countries In the field of antiquities and heritage.


The symposium reviewed the most prominent scientific results resulting from cooperation between the Saudi and French sides in fieldwork (surveying and excavation) for a number of archaeological sites in the Kingdom, which began in the historic city of Al-Hajar in Al-Ula Governorate in 2002.


Purpose of This event

The Ministry of Culture, represented by the Heritage Commission, aims from this celebration to inform specialists. Those interested in the field of antiquities in the Kingdom about the field of archaeological projects implemented by the Commission with the French side, and to discuss the results of these works, with what this includes of monitoring and documenting archaeological work in the Kingdom, and highlighting the efforts made in its service.

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