The cultural week aims to inform the Russian public about Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage, and to engage in cultural dialogue between the two countries.
Though it started on Monday, the official opening took place on Thursday, after King Salman and his delegation arrived in Moscow.
Russian guests were excited to see Saudis in traditional dress, and journalists were eager to interview officials. Both countries’ culture ministers gave speeches during the opening ceremony.
Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad said the king’s visit is historic, and both countries are interested in cooperation.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have much to do together in the cultural field, Al-Awwad added, expressing hope that the visit will upgrade bilateral relations. Events such as the cultural week enable bridges to be built between the two nations, he said.
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Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky called Saudi Arabia a cradle of Arab civilization, and a spiritual and cultural center of the Arab world. He lamented that Russians only know about the Kingdom’s history, not its modern life.
Medinsky praised the cultural week for enabling Russians to see Saudi Arabia through the eyes of its artists. He also declared that both countries’ culture ministries signed an agreement on cooperation.
Medinsky used virtual reality devices, which are offered to visitors of the cultural week, to see Saudi landmarks, and expressed his willingness to see them first-hand.
The cultural week presents a wide range of works by modern Saudi artists — painters, photographers, sculptors and film directors.
Entry is free, and every 30 minutes a guide makes a tour for anyone who wants to learn more about the works.
The official opening concluded with a performance of Saudi music and traditional dance with swords and drums. The guests also enjoyed traditional Saudi cuisine.