21 Dhu al-Qi'dah 1444 - 10 June 2023
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Eye of Riyadh
Culture & Education | Wednesday 16 February, 2022 6:35 pm |

Saudi authorities agree to cooperate on development of traditional arts, urban heritage

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority and the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts have signed a memorandum of understanding for strategic cooperation in a number of projects and initiatives, the authority said on Tuesday.
The agreement includes plans for projects related to education and training in fields such as traditional arts, urban heritage, the protection of heritage sites, inventory and documentation of tangible and intangible heritage, conducting studies and the exchange of expertise, and promoting the role of the local community in preserving Diriyah’s heritage and providing programs and services to the community of Saudi craftsmen.
It also includes cooperation between the organizations to establish a library of traditional arts and crafts in Diriyah and the Najd region.
The memorandum was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, the CEO of the DGDA, and Suzan Al-Yahya, director general of RITA.
“The two parties will work to cooperate in developing educational, cultural and community initiatives of common interest, and to provide specialized courses in traditional crafts and arts that were practiced in Diriyah, including wickerwork, jewelry, stone and woodwork, building with mud and more,” the DGDA said.
The courses will be held in Prince Saad bin Saud Palace, one of the largest mud-brick structures in the historic Turaif neighborhood, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Inzerillo said he is pleased to enhance cooperation with RITA, which includes innovative collaborative efforts to manage and preserve heritage and culture; provide workshops and link them to the labor market; and propose an action plan for graduates of the institute by building connections between them and authorities tasked with preserving heritage and culture.
Al-Yahya said the deal will help to expand the joint work to include the exchange of research, statistics and related studies; cooperation in disseminating educational materials related to traditional architecture; the creation of a unified platform for collecting data relating to heritage and culture; coordination on joint initiatives, events and programs; and the organization of exhibitions of work by art students and craftsmen.
Diriyah, the site of the First Saudi State, has been selected as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2030. The Diriyah Gate project includes plans for a wide range of cultural, entertainment, commercial, hospitality, educational, institutional and residential areas and facilities, including 38 hotels and a variety of museums and cultural institutes, in addition to becoming the beating heart of commercial markets.
RITA was established in Riyadh last year, as part of the Quality of Life Program, with the aim of highlighting national identity and enriching Saudi traditional arts locally and internationally, in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development and diversification program.


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