RIYADH: The Kingdom is to establish a new marine center to preserve underwater cultural heritage in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
The center is a natural development from Saudi Arabia’s awareness of its responsibility to protect all forms of heritage, Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan told a “virtual” meeting of his G20 counterparts hosted in Riyadh on Wednesday.
“Under this initiative, we will establish a world-class center affiliated with the Heritage Commission to oversee projects for the management, restoration, and protection of the underwater cultural heritage,” the minister said.
Prince Badr told the meeting: “My country has inherited a colossal cultural legacy from the successive civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula since the dawn of history. And thanks to its strategic location, it has been essential to the processes of cultural exchange between continents.
“As guardians of culture and heritage, we must combat any activities detrimental to the shared cultural heritage of humanity and make sure that permanent, global initiatives dedicated to protecting the underwater cultural heritage are in place.
“Our ambitious Saudi vision for the future, Vision 2030, stresses the importance of culture and heritage in its three pillars of a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation; we have been keen on giving our heritage its due appreciation.”
The key aims of the new center will be to encourage scientific research to uncover underwater cultural heritage sites in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, to raise awareness of underwater cultural heritage and to enhance global cultural dialogue by strengthening cooperation between relevant centers internationally.
Prince Badr told the G20 ministers: “Riyadh is exemplary for a 21st-century Saudi city; it celebrates the cultural connection between the glorious past, the bright present, and the ambitious future.”