Restoration of Diriyah heritage site ‘on track’

Restoration of Diriyah heritage site ‘on track’
Updated 22 January 2015

Restoration of Diriyah heritage site ‘on track’

Restoration of Diriyah heritage site ‘on track’

The Riyadh Development Authority has announced that the rehabilitation of the Diriyah heritage site is on track and would be completed in about two and a half years.
“The rehabilitation of Diriyah is being completed with a combination of old and new technology,” a spokesman told Arab News in an interview at the authority’s headquarters inside the Diplomatic Quarter on Wednesday.
More than 150 mud houses have been restored and five buildings constructed in the Al-Bujeiri Quarter inside Diriyah. The plan is to ensure that Al-Bujeira becomes the gateway to the historic project, he said.
Al-Bujeiri has parks and gardens, supported by roads, pedestrian paths and parking areas. “The plan includes several architectural, engineering and institutional projects that would transform the area into pleasant public spaces,” he said.
He said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has advised the Kingdom not to construct any building if there is no evidence of what it looked like 300 years ago. New structures were added to showcase all the information about the museum, he said.
He said the construction of the houses involved using mud, lime, straw, sand and water mixed with glue and kept in the sun for one month until it became elastic. In the process, the mud turned gray like cement.
“Diriyah is an outstanding national symbol in Saudi history. Its name has been associated with the first Saudi state, which brought about major and lasting political change in the Arabian Peninsula,” he said.
He said the first Saudi state was established in Diriyah in the 18th century, inspired by the teachings of Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulwahab. “It was his religious and political pact with the chief of the House of Saud, Muhammad bin Saud, that led to the success of his reform movement and the prominence for the first time of the House of Saud in Arabian affairs,” he said.
Diriyah became a center of power and knowledge until its abrupt ending caused by the Ottoman assault in 1818. Imam Turki bin Saud then chose Riyadh as his new capital.