‘Cities Destroyed by Terrorism’ exhibition opens at National Museum in Riyadh

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A major exhibition using virtual reality technology to recreate historic cities wrecked by terror groups has opened in the Saudi capital. (SPA)
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A major exhibition using virtual reality technology to recreate historic cities wrecked by terror groups has opened in the Saudi capital. (SPA)
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A major exhibition using virtual reality technology to recreate historic cities wrecked by terror groups has opened in the Saudi capital. (SPA)
Updated 19 April 2019

‘Cities Destroyed by Terrorism’ exhibition opens at National Museum in Riyadh

  • The exhibition was organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Arab World Institute in Paris
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Wednesday inaugurated the “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” expo being staged at the National Museum in Riyadh

RIYADH: A major exhibition using virtual reality technology to recreate historic cities wrecked by terror groups has opened in the Saudi capital.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Wednesday inaugurated the “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” expo being staged at the National Museum in Riyadh.
Organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Arab World Institute in Paris, visitors will be taken on virtual tours of cultural and archaeological sites ruined or under threat of damage by extremist organizations.
The event’s organizers aim to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving the Arab region’s heritage and protecting it from potential threats.
Abdul-Mahdi, who on Wednesday held talks with King Salman on relations between the two countries, launched the expo – open daily from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. through May 18 - in the presence of officials, ministers, diplomats and intellectuals.
The Ministry of Culture has classified “cultural and archaeological sites” and the preservation of ancient monuments as key areas for future support and development.
The exhibition includes photos, videos and exhibits relating to famous cities such as Mosul and Nineveh in Iraq, and Aleppo and Palmyra in Syria, all of which have fallen victim to the forces of extremism and terrorism in recent years.

Using visual displays and the latest technology, the exhibition seeks to accurately simulate for visitors what destroyed cities looked like and, in the process, promote a message of tolerance.

French startup Iconem were tasked with mapping the sites.  The event’s organizers aim to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving the Arab region’s heritage and protecting it from potential threats.

“It was very dangerous for them, but it was quite important to get the images of the sites before and after the destruction,” said Aurelie Clemente-Ruiz, the curator of the exhibit last year.

“The exhibition is like a memory for this site (Mosul), architecture, heritage of the entire world. It’s not only (about) the Arab world but it’s really the heritage for everyone and it’s very important to understand that. It’s part of our own history that was destroyed in this conflict.”

Abdul Mahdi later signed a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between Iraq and the Kingdom, and briefly joined discussions between his country’s oil ministry and the Kingdom’s minister of commerce and investment, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, before leaving Riyadh for an official visit to Jeddah.

 

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Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.



In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)

 

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.