Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Farhan announced on Sunday the launch of the project for the restoration of urban heritage buildings of architectural and historical significance in the center of Riyadh.
“This was in line with the directives of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. Also, based on the keenness of King Salman to preserve and protect the heritage,” the SPA said.
In a press statement, Prince Badr, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Heritage Commission, thanked the King and the Crown Prince for their unlimited support for culture and heritage. The minister affirmed that restoration operations will take into account international standards in terms of methods of restoration and preservation of urban heritage buildings.
He said the first zone of the project includes 15 heritage palaces in Al-Fouta neighborhood and Dhahira, covering three palaces in Eastern Fouta, and seven palaces in Western Fouta, in addition to five royal palaces, as an urgent pathway.
The three-month first phase will also focus on preparing studies and designs; preparing and managing sites and temporary strengthening of buildings in their current state. The second phase will include the implementation project for the comprehensive restoration of buildings within 24 months, starting January next year.
First and full study
The second zone of the project will begin in parallel with the first and full study of all important urban heritage buildings in the center of Riyadh with all their classifications. In addition to documenting these buildings architecturally and developing the necessary operational plans for their preservation, restoration and rehabilitation.
The project is managed by the Ministry of Culture, represented by the Heritage Commission; in partnership with the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and Riyadh Mayoralty.
The seven palaces in Western Fouta date back to 1944. While the three palaces in Eastern Fouta date back to 1935. The six royal palaces also include King Fahd Palace; King Abdullah Palace; Princess Haya Bint Abdul Rahman Palace; Prince Sultan Palace; Princess Al-Anoud Palace in the neighborhood of Dhuhaira, Al-Fouta, and Umm Al-Salim.
The project aims to preserve urban heritage buildings of architectural and historical significance; highlighting the local identity and transform these buildings into an economic, social, cultural and tourism resource. It also aims to increase the efficiency of their use with adjacent areas. Besides, linking them to the memory of the place and the history of Riyadh in urban terms.