Athens, SPA -- Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture, met today at the Acropolis Museum in the Greek capital Athens with his counterpart, the Minister of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic, Dr. Lina Mendoni.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the plan proposed by the Saudi side concerning the cultural partnership, and ways to enhance and develop it to serve the two friendly countries.
The Minister of Culture praised the ancient cultural heritage of the Republic of Greece, stressing the importance of building cultural cooperation between the two countries at a strategic level, and for this cooperation to contribute to developing the cultural sector and support practitioners and intellectuals in the two countries.
The meeting included discussing the clauses of the proposed plan, which comprise establishing cultural weeks between the two countries, loaning of antiquities from both sides, and donating a sculpture of art to the Greek Republic to be placed in one of the most prominent locations as a symbol of cultural cooperation between the two countries.
This is in addition to encouraging the exchange of visits between cultural delegations, inviting the Greek side to participate in the Kingdom’s most prominent cultural forums, loaning employees and specialists between the two ministries to share experiences and build capacities, as well as strengthening cooperation in the field of excavation in the village of Al-Faw in particular, due to its connection with the Greek civilization.
The two sides agreed on the importance of discussing ways to enable the Kingdom and Greece to expand the scope of their cooperation in cultural fields.
They decided to initiate consultations with a view to agree on a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation, encompassing exchanges and sharing experience concerning heritage and museums, archeology and preservation of antiquities, cultural festivals and modern culture.
They also agreed to join forces to address issues of global concern, such as the protection of tangible and intangible heritage from deliberate destruction, alteration and misuse, and the countering of illicit trafficking in cultural property, in time of peace as well as in time of conflict.
Bearing in mind that both Saudi Arabia and Greece are parties to the "Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property" (UNESCO 1970), the "Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO 1972), the “Convention on the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage” (UNESCO 2003) and the “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (UNESCO 2005), they underlined their willingness to cooperate to address these issues also in the framework of UNESCO.
The two sides stressed that world heritage monuments showcase the multifaceted history of the region and carry a message of mutual understanding, coexistence and respect to future generations and agreed to exert further efforts to protect the collective memory and historical references from deliberate attacks and intentional destruction or alteration.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Culture gave an official invitation to his Greek counterpart and her team to visit the Kingdom, attend major cultural events, and tour its cultural and heritage landmarks, in addition to participating in the "Future of Culture Summit," which will be held virtually at the end of this year and in-person next year.
After the meeting ended, the Culture Minister and his accompanying delegation had lunch at the museum, at the invitation of the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports.
On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by the Kingdom's ambassador to the Republic of Greece, Dr. Saad bin Abdulrahman Al-Ammar, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Hamid bin Mohammed Fayez, the General Supervisor of Cultural Affairs and International Relations, Rakan Al-Toq, and the Supervisor of the International Cultural Relations Agency, Fahd Al-Kanaan.
This meeting comes within a series of meetings that the Minister of Culture is conducting with a number of Greek officials during his two-day official visit to the Greek Republic, which aims to lay the foundation stone for cultural cooperation between the two countries and between the Ministry of Culture and its Greek counterpart to work on an extensive cultural program over the next two years, besides focusing on creating quality opportunities that serve cultural fields in both the Kingdom and the Republic of Greece.