France to lend Saudi Arabia its classical expertise

1 / 2
The orchestra of the Opera of Lyon rehearses before the Victoires de la musique classique award event at the Grange au Lac auditorium in Evian-les-Bains in February. AFP
2 / 2
French Minister of Culture Francoise Nyssen, right, and her counterpart Awwad Alawwad sign an agreement help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and opera. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2018
0

France to lend Saudi Arabia its classical expertise

  • Paris Opera is one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses
  • About 350 cinemas are expected to be in operation by 2030
PARIS: France is to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and opera as part of a series of agreements signed on Monday to boost cultural cooperation.
“Today an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and an opera,” said French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen, during a joint press conference with Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad.
The deal will see the Paris Opera company help the Kingdom produce its own classical music and shows, AFP reported.
Founded in 1669 by the then king, Louis XIV, Paris Opera is one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.
The agreement comes during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France — the fourth leg of his foreign tour, and one focused on building relations through culture, the arts and heritage.
Nyssen said she had also discussed “the importance of translating books in both directions, from Arabic into French and French into Arabic.”
A key pillar of the visit is the collaboration with Paris to develop Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula, an area in the northwest packed with ancient archaeological sites, into a key attraction for visitors while using French expertise in its preservation.
The agreements in France highlight the importance of culture and the arts in the sweeping social and economic reform program being led by the crown prince.
Several other agreements were signed and events held related to cultural cooperation in Paris on Monday.
On Sunday, Arab News revealed that Saudi Arabia would officially participate for the first time in the Cannes Film Festival
Al-Awwad said the Kingdom would submit a selection of short films when the prestigious competition opens next month.
“With a rich tradition of storytelling, Saudi Arabia is embarking on the development of a sustainable and dynamic (film) industry,” Al-Awwad told AFP
The Kingdom is reopening cinemas on April 18 for the first time in more than 35 years. About 350 cinemas are expected to be in operation by 2030.
AMC, the largest cinema operator in the world, was awarded an operating license last week by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Last year, the heir to the throne set up the Misk Art Institute in Riyadh, aimed at the young and designed to encourage grassroots artistic productions in Saudi Arabia.
In Paris on Monday, the institute held a two-day “festival of culture” showcasing work from nine Saudi artists and featuring the VR documentary film Reframe Saudi.
MisKulturExpo, as it was named, takes place over two days at the prestigious famous Arab World Institute. Collectively, the documentary and exhibits demonstrate how art and the creative industries are an integral part of the change that is transforming Saudi Arabia,” Ahmed Mater, director of the Misk Art Institute, said.
“It is essential at this time that Saudi artists engage with audiences around the world, as they are here in Paris, to help to tell the continuing story of change in Saudi Arabia.”
Another exhibition titled the “Saudi Cultural Days” organized by the Kingdom’s General Culture Authority also got underway in the French capital on Monday.
The three-day event at the Tokyo Palace of Art will offer a variety of artistic and cultural activities, including cinematic performances and discussions held in the presence of artists and directors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
It also includes art exhibitions dealing with heritage and modern art and panel discussions with the artists.


Saudi Arabia to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 4 min 55 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.