Saudi Arabia official visit to France strengthens cultural ties
During a week-long visit to France, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Culture, met with his French counterpart Roselyne Bachelot, Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and several other French cultural leaders and institutions.
Prince Badr addressed the UNESCO General Conference: "We congratulate UNESCO on its seventy-fifth anniversary, which the Kingdom has been a part of since the beginning as a founder member.”
“Saudi Arabia is committed to working with UNESCO, and its members, in the efforts to unleash the power of culture."The day prior UNESCO and the Royal Commission for AlUla signed an agreement that will help preserve the globally significant area, enabling it to become a destination for heritage, nature, arts, and culture. It builds on an existing partnership, through which over 100 French archaeologists and experts are currently working onsite.
France and Saudi have a long history of ongoing cultural exchange. For example, fifty years ago King Khalid helped establish the Arab World Institute in Paris. In 2018, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman made an official visit to France, meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, where a significant cultural agreement between the two countries was signed.
The Kingdom is hosting a vibrant cultural program of over 100 cultural events, initiatives, and engagements during the coming months, including Saudi Arabia's first art biennale, Ad-Diriyah Biennale, and first major international film festival, the Red Sea International Film Festival, which will feature French classics.