‘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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Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.