A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on Saturday in Jeddah has further cemented cultural relations between Saudi Arabia and France.
Coming only weeks after Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Farhan met with his counterpart, Dr. Roselyn Bachelot, in Paris, the MoU is the latest example of strengthening cultural ties between the two countries.
The signing of the MoU coincides with President Emmanuel Macron's official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Under the 5-year agreement, Saudi Arabia and France have committed to enhancing cultural cooperation and exchange across a broad range of cultural fields, including architecture, audiovisual production, design, film, heritage, literature, performing arts and visual arts. In addition, the MoU will facilitate the two countries to explore cultural regulations and policies.
There will also be opportunities to increase the participation of Saudi and French artists in residency exchange programs and strengthen cooperation between artists and cultural institutions in both countries.
In recent years, cultural relations between Saudi Arabia and France have grown steadily closer through joint projects, programs and initiatives, including the signing of an historic cooperation agreement in 2018 to support the development of the culture and heritage of AlUla Governorate. In November this year, Prince Badr met with Dr. Bachelot and several other French cultural leaders and institutions in Paris where he addressed the UNESCO General Conference.
The Kingdom is hosting a vibrant cultural program of over 100 cultural events, initiatives, and engagements before the end of the year, including Saudi Arabia's first art biennale, Ad-Diriyah Biennale, and first major international film festival, the Red Sea International Film Festival, which will feature French classics.