RIYAD – The Museums Commission has announced its strategy that will transform the sector with ambitious plans to increase the number and types of museums and visitors across the Kingdom. The plan will see Saudi Arabia’s museums focus on its cultural identity and translate it into a series of tangible assets across the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Stefano Carboni, CEO of the Museums Commission, said: “The strategy will drive the advancement of best practices at the international level in this vital cultural sector. Our strategy will enrich the lives of all who reside and visit the Kingdom.

“We will grow the sector through inspiring exhibitions and programs, training the first true generation of museum industry experts, and creating various cultural platforms that attract local and international culture seekers. There are many stories to be told about the Kingdom, its past and its ambitious future, and we are delighted that people visit and experience it for themselves.

The strategy will see existing museums in Riyadh reshaped and remodeled, including the National Museum in the Historic Center and the Masmak Fort Museum which saw the birth of the kingdom in the Ad Dirah district. The plan foresees the significant expansion of museums, especially in the regions, by 2024, including several flagship sites and a few smaller ones by 2030.

The first new museum to open is a smaller version of the Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art (SAMoCA) in the new JAX development in Ad Diriyah. The Black Gold Museum in Riyadh will open soon after, which will be a permanent museum dedicated to artists’ interpretation of petroleum history, in partnership with the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.

Additionally, teamLab Borderless Jeddah, an immersive digital art space, is slated to open in 2022 in partnership with teamLab’s team of Japanese artists. Medium-term plans will see the opening of important institutions such as the Royal Art Complex Museum, the Digital Art Museum and the Prince Mohammad bin Salman International Center for Arabic Calligraphy Museum.

The strategy will also seek to create, expand, conserve and preserve collections and implement educational programs throughout the museum ecosystem.

The strategy of the Museums Commission is aligned with the National Strategy for Culture and the Saudi Vision 2030. The Kingdom’s cultural vision revolves around the revitalization of 16 unique cultural sub-sectors that will facilitate the contribution of more than $ 23 billion to the economy – ~ 3% of GDP – by 2030 and create over 100,000 jobs. – SPA


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