top of page

Saudi-French Cultural Ties Strengthened By Ministerial Meeting

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan met on Tuesday with France's Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak in the French capital, Paris. The meeting was part of the ongoing cultural cooperation between the two countries, which has seen several joint initiatives and projects in recent years.

A Partnership Agreement Between AlUla And Centre Pompidou

During the meeting, Prince Badr commended his French counterpart's official visit to the Kingdom in April 2023, during which a partnership agreement was signed between the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Centre Pomidou. The agreement aims to develop a cultural and artistic program for AlUla, a historical and archaeological site in northwestern Saudi Arabia that is home to ancient civilizations and natural wonders.

The program will include exhibitions, residencies, workshops, publications, and educational activities that will showcase the cultural heritage and contemporary creativity of AlUla and Saudi Arabia, as well as foster dialogue and exchange with French and international artists and institutions.

A Strong Presence At Paris Fair And Cannes Film Festival

Prince Badr also highlighted Saudi-French cultural cooperation through the participation of the Theatre and Performing Arts Commission at the Paris Fair in May 2023, where Saudi Arabia was the guest of honor. The commission presented a variety of theatrical performances, musical concerts, puppet shows, and interactive workshops that reflected the diversity and richness of Saudi culture.

In addition, Prince Badr praised of the participation of the Film Commission at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2023, where Saudi Arabia had a pavilion for the first time. The pavilion showcased the achievements and opportunities of the Saudi film industry, which has witnessed remarkable growth and development since the reopening of cinemas in 2018. The pavilion also hosted screenings, panels, networking events, and meetings with international film professionals and investors.

A Collaboration Between Islamic Arts Biennale And Louvre Museum

The two ministers also discussed ways to enhance cultural relations and cooperation between the Islamic Arts Biennale and the Louvre Museum. The Islamic Arts Ministry of Culture in 2022 to celebrate the artistic expressions of Islam across time and space. The biennale aims to promote dialogue, diversity, and tolerance among cultures and civilizations.

The Louvre Museum, which is the world's largest and most-visited museum, has agreed to host a selection of artworks from the Islamic Arts Biennale in 2024, as part of its permanent collection of Islamic art. The collaboration will offer a unique opportunity to showcase the artistic legacy and contemporary creativity of Islamic art to a global audience.

A Cooperation Between Saudi Libraries Commission And the National Library Of France

Finally, the two ministers also discussed ways to enhance cultural relations and cooperation between the Saudi Libraries Commission and Bibliotheque National de France (the National Library of France). The Saudi Libraries Commission is a new entity established by the Ministry of Culture in 2021 to develop and regulate the library sector in Saudi Arabia. The commission aims to increase public access to books, information, and knowledge, as well as preserve and digitize the national heritage.

The National Library of France is one of the oldest and largest libraries in the world, with more than 40 million items in its collections. The library has agreed to share its expertise and experience with the Saudi Libraries Commission in various fields, such as library management, preservation, digitization, cataloging, research, and outreach.

The meeting between Prince Badr and Abdul Malak concluded with a mutual expression of appreciation and friendship between the two ministers and their respective countries. They agreed to continue working together to strengthen their cultural ties and cooperation for the benefit of their people.

About Rima Abdul Malak

Rima Abdul Malak is a French politician who has been serving as Minister of Culture in the government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne since May 2022. She was born on February 11, 1979, in Beirut, Lebanon, into a Lebanese Christian family. She filed with her family during the Lebanese Civil War in 1989. She holds a double nationality: French and Lebanese.

She studied at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University, where she obtained a master's degree in Development and International Cooperation in 2000. She started her professional career at the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development. She then worked as the director of programs for Clowns Without Borders, an association that provides psychosocial support to children and populations affected by humanitarian crises or extremely.

From 2012 to 2014, she was the advisor on cultural affairs to the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe. She then became the cultural attache at the Consulate General of France in New York from 2018 to 2018. In November 2019, she was appointed as the advisor on culture and communication to President Emmanuel Macron. She was nominated as Minister of Culture in May 2022.

As Minister of Culture, she has stated her intention to defend the cultural sovereignty of France, to invest in artistic education, and to take up the challenge of the ecological transition in the artistic milieu. She has also expressed her willingness to collaborate with the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, on the issue of memory and recognition of France's colonial past.

bottom of page