Many major museums in the UK ignore the cultural agreement between the British and Saudi governments, while organizations around the world continue to raise concerns about the UK human rights record.
Last month, British Culture Secretary Nadine Doris and Saudi Arabian Prince Badr bin Abdullah signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) near the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The initiative “focuses on collaboration in the fields of film, museum and heritage”.
This attempt, according to the Saudi newspaper Arabic News“It will help improve cooperation in preserving Saudi heritage […]Increasing participation in cultural festivals and art residency programs, training programs and joint cultural seminars between government and private organizations “.
These companies include museums in particular, with DCMS “participating in all 1,800 museums in the UK, including a commercial venture in its early stages.
However, many British museums, including the Tate, National Gallery and the British Museum, have refused to participate in the effort. The Victoria and Albert Museum also declined to comment, saying one of its spokespersons confirmed that it was “not participating in the activities as part of a cultural agreement between the UK and Saudi Arabia.”
Museums have not disclosed the reasons for the denial, but may be due to Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record, as concerns have grown in recent years about some controversy, such as the assassination of journalist Jamal Kashoki, who was deported in 2018, and other assassination attempts. .
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