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Saudi Arabia is planning to build a Major Cultural Oasis in Al-Ula region

Saudi Arabia Architecture News - Jan 2, 2019 - 05:57   3899 views

Saudi Arabia is planning to build a Major Cultural Oasis in Al-Ula region

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is in conversation with the US' largest auction house Sotheby’s to create a major cultural destination in Al-Ula region, according to Bloomberg

Planned as the new Saudi Cultural Center, the new building will be built on an archaeologically rich region in the northwest of the country.  Reportedly, the article states that a major cultural building will be situated near the ancient UNESCO World Heritage city of Mada’in Salih, among elaborate 2000-year-old sandstone buildings.

The Saudi government continues its conversations with Allan Schwartzman, the co-chairman of Sotheby’s Fine Art Department. In addition, the article in Bloomberg details that Schwartzman has double connections on this bases.

Schwartzman is also working on the advisory board of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, an initiative overseeing the region’s development, and he leads Art Agency Partners, Sotheby’s Art Advisory Arm, which already submitted its vision for the major cultural complex. 

Saudi Arabia is planning to build a Major Cultural Oasis in Al-Ula region

Image © Shutterstock

Rosie Marsh, a spokeswoman for the royal commission, said that the project is in "exploratory phase," for now. The project still remains "unclear how the fallout from the October murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will affect the project." 

The auction house Sotheby’s has invited more than a dozen artists to submit their proposals. Further, beginning in late October, about five of them already visited the site, according to people familiar with the program who asked not to be identified discussing nonpublic details.

In Sotheby’s statement, it is written  that the artists "will be asked to dream their biggest dream and envisage a project which may or may not be realized, but will represent the ultimate expression of them as an artist."

Although there is no certainty to realize the major art oasis in a proposed area, the new project is worked as "a strategic plan phase" and a detailed master plan may take from six to nine months, and then the actual infrastructure construction may take from three to five years. 

Top image courtesy of Getty Images/Radius Images

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