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Parliament Approves Greece-Saudi Arabia MoU for Culture

Culture Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al – Saud with Greek Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni, during his official visit to Greece in 2021. Photo Source: Ministry of Culture.

The Greek Parliament recently ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Greece and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on cooperation in the field of culture.

The memorandum had been signed by Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and Culture Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al – Saud last July, as part of a 16-part agreement package between the two countries worth over four billion euros.

The package, agreed between Greece and Saudi Arabia, concerned sectors including energy, shipping, waste management, construction and defense.

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud with Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Photo source: Prime Minister’s office.

“This memorandum will contribute to a greater mutual understanding of Greece’s and Saudi Arabia’s cultural characteristics and strengthen our transnational collaboration,” said Mendoni during her speech at the Greek Parliament before the ratification process commenced.

According to the agreement, both parties have agreed to:

  • enhance cooperation and exchanges in cultural fields, such as architecture, design, performing arts, film and the audiovisual sector, cultural heritage, culinary arts, visual arts, museums and literature;
  • share experience in the fields of cultural heritage and museums;
  • exchange of knowledge with regard to joint strategic projects in various cultural fields;

Saudi Arabia and Greek Culture Ministers at the Acropolis Museum in Athens in 2021. Photo source: Saudi Gazette.

  • exchange knowledge and experiences with respect to the laws, regulations, and policies concerning culture;
  • the mutual participation in cultural festivals in both countries;
  • exchange of knowledge in the development of arts residency programs between governmental and private institutions in both countries;
  • facilitate commutations between cultural organizations and intellectuals;
  • and facilitate projects related to the preservation and conservation of all kinds of cultural heritage in the two countries.

Photo source: Ministry of Culture.

Mendoni also stressed that Greece, as a global cultural force in archaeological excavation and antiquity preservation, can offer its technical expertise to Saudi Arabia but also receive the Arab country’s guidance on issues of contemporary culture and its promotion.

She went on to underline that “as we speak, many European cultural organizations and museums implement projects in Saudi Arabia today. We can not be absent. We want to be wherever Greek culture can meet new audiences.”

A statue of Hercules found at the Qaryat Al-Faw archaeological site in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia established its culture ministry just four years ago under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s modernisation plan, with culture aiming to contribute 3 percent or more to the kingdom’s gross domestic product by 2030 and create 100,000 jobs for young Saudis, according to Reuters.

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About the Author
Christos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and graduated from the Greek – American Anatolia High School. He studied Theater, Film and Media in the UK. Since 2004 he has worked as a journalist and radio producer at AIR 104.4, Athens' 1st multi – lingual radio station and as an assistant producer, interpreter and fixer for CNN, BBC, Channel 4, The Washington Post and NPR’s Marketplace. He has also worked for publications like BFI’s Sight and Sound and London’s The FACE magazine. As a performer, director and writer his work has been presented in Greece, the UK, USA and Argentina among other countries.
  1. Milton Baker Reply

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