European countries sign cultural network charter with Saudi Arabia

Ambassadors agree to set up the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) “cluster

  
A European Union's flag flutters outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose

A European Union's flag flutters outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Yves Herman
 
RIYADH: European countries have set up a cultural network in Saudi Arabia to strengthen cultural ties between the Kingdom and the EU.

A charter was signed by ambassadors on Thursday at the Austrian embassy in Riyadh to set up the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) “cluster.”

The members include the embassies of Austria, France, Spain, Italy and Czech Republic along with the Goethe Institut.

The charter aims to strengthen dialogue between the nations and Saudi Arabia leading to increased cultural activity and diverse opportunities in the Kingdom in fields such as fashion, film, music, architecture and design, and visual arts projects.

They hope to create museums, workshops, and cultural events and open the door to local artists and professionals to collaborate with experts from Europe.

“What we would like to do is implement projects together with Saudi powered institutions interested in working with us but we also stand ready to provide capacity building and we can bring in experts,” Wolfgang Kutschera, deputy head of mission at the Austrian embassy in Riyadh said.

The EU ambassador to the Kingdom Patrick Simonnet gave a speech at the ceremony supporting the partnership and detailed the opportunities it will create.

Sulaf Al-Jindan, Director of the International Multilateral Institutions Department at the Ministry of Culture also attended the signing.

EUNIC already has two projects in Saudi Arabia underway. An EU film festival will take place in November and an architectural event on solutions for sustainable living in Riyadh will take place the same month.

EUNIC has 125 clusters in more than 90 countries that aim to create cultural collaboration between European countries and the rest of the world.

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