On 7 April 2014, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. The meeting was held on the occasion of the inauguration of the exhibition on the “Aspects of Architectural Heritage of Saudi Arabia” held at UNESCO Headquarters, in the presence of H.E. Mr Ziad Aldrees, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO, Representatives from UNESCO Member States and the media.
The Director-General thanked HRH Prince Sultan for his commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage of his country and his support to UNESCO’s action in safeguarding World Heritage. She highlighted the fruitful cooperation between Saudi Arabia and UNESCO in the area of cultural heritage. “I know you share the vision of UNESCO of the importance of the protection of heritage and the promotion of cultures to foster mutual understanding, dialogue and peace,” declared Irina Bokova. “Culture and cultural heritage have the power to build intercultural dialogue across civilizations and across borders”.
H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud emphasized the paramount role of cultural heritage education in order to sustain national identity, stressing the need for younger generations to feel pride at the preservation of their national history and cultural and intangible heritage. The Prince further underscored the various layers of history that enriched the Islamic heritage across civilizations and across centuries.
The exhibition, held at UNESCO until 11 April 2014, includes a range of architectural models of ancient cities in Saudi Arabia, in particular the Historical Town of Jeddah, as well as a collection of images of the various aspects of the culture and cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.