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The Royal Commission for Alula and Centro Conservazione E Restauro “La Venaria Reale” are partners

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the body in charge of AlUla’s comprehensive regeneration, and the Italian conservation institute Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale” (CCR) have joined forces to advance knowledge in the restoration and conservation of northwest Saudi Arabia’s incredible cultural heritage.

Twelve young Saudi professionals and recent university graduates have travelled from AlUla to Italy for a knowledge exchange course as part of the collaboration. They were chosen by RCU. The group, which consists of 6 women and 6 men, will take part in workshops in AlUla and Venaria, both in northern Italy, close to Turin. CCR will offer best practises regarding the use of an interdisciplinary approach to heritage conservation science in the multi-modal course.

Six graduates in chemistry and biology, along with six conservation officers from various regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will participate in a series of integrated, intensely interactive modules between July 2023 and February 2024. These modules will cover planning, managing, and conserving archaeological sites, among other practical topics.

“Partnering with RCU is a unique opportunity to explore the characteristics of our different cultural, social, and organisational contexts,” stated Sara Abram, secretary general of CCR. Through its personnel and the participation of instructors from some of the top Italian universities and conservation institutes, the CCR contributes its technical, scientific, and humanistic knowledge to this project.

The curriculum, which aims to increase awareness of artefacts and their historical context, mirrors the methodical approach to conservation used by CCR. The training begins with basic observations, focuses on data collection and processing, moves on to technique analysis and assessment, and concludes with the definition of the most appropriate conservation measures on an individual basis.

The program’s two main goals are to increase technical and scientific knowledge of various works of art and their materials that relate to archaeological contexts and to raise awareness of the values of cultural heritage, which is regarded as tangible and intangible proof of history and societies. It was created in collaboration with conservation experts, including conservators, conservation scientists, and historians.

To sustain international best practises, the 12-person Saudi team will be given a fundamental understanding of material conservation techniques, procedures, and regulations. The next generation of professionals from KSA will be equipped with the information and abilities necessary to pursue a career in conservation sciences through theoretical and hands-on workshops in heritage conservation and preservation, thereby assisting the sector’s long-term growth objectives.

The participants will experience the great Italian tradition of conservation while they are in Venaria, as well as the Italian way of life, through awareness workshops and cultural exchange, exploration of Turin and its UNESCO-listed Royal Palace “Reggia di Venaria,” and interactions with University of Turin students.

The partnership between CCR and RCU is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding that His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan AlSaud, Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Minister of Culture of Italy, Gennaro Sangiuliano, signed in Venice in May. The agreement aims to increase cooperation in the fields of archaeology, conservation, restoration, and protection of cultural heritage, the film industry, and literature.

“Our partnership with CCR aligns with our ambitions to place our community at the centre of RCU’s conservation and sustainable regeneration efforts,” said Dr. Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani, Executive Director of Archaeology, Collections, and Conservation at the Royal Commission for AlUla. With the information and fundamental skills they need to successfully pursue a career in conservation research through this introductory programme, we will help the next generation of conservation specialists advance our long-term goals.

AlUla, 1,100 kilometres from Riyadh, is home to a remarkable natural and cultural legacy. A verdant oasis valley, soaring sandstone mountains, and historic cultural heritage monuments that date back thousands of years may all be found in the huge 22,561km2 area.

Source- Travel daily

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