Who is the new Saudi culture minister and why was the ministry established?

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King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued a royal decree to establish the independent culture ministry in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud was appointed to be the first culture minister in the kingdom.

The young minister holds a bachelor’s degree in law from King Saud University. He studied alongside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, majoring in law, from the same university.

The cultural community and its known elites depend on the young minister in transforming Saudi Arabia into an global cultural hub, benefiting from his personal biography and name, which became known inside and outside the kingdom. The importance of establishing an independent ministry comes from the new era which Saudi Arabia is witnessing, distinguished by reviving theatres, cinemas, entertainment, arts and national heritage sites which Saudi Arabia is filled with.

Since last year, Prince Badr had served as governor of the Royal Commission of Al-Ula governorate once it was formed. The commission was concerned with developing the heritage and cultural sector of the governorate. He developed a strategy for developing the governorate in accordance with Saudi Arabia’s transformation plan, Vision 2030.

He also developed two working agreements with the French government and the Arab World Institute in Paris. He worked to launch a scholarship program to enable the youth of the governorate. He also developed a partnership with Harvard University to motivate innovation regarding the development of the governorate.

The minister was on the board of directors of the General Authority for Culture and participated in developing strategies to upgrade and enrich the culture sector in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Badr is also the CEO of the Misk institute for Arts. He worked with the institute’s team under the umbrella of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Misk Foundation to achieve its objectives in enabling international cultural diplomacy and art exchange.

The young minister also headed the board of directors of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group since its restructuring and pivot to modern media structures. He made partnerships and signed acquisitions with a number of regional and international institutions, before resigning from his official duties on the night he was appointed as minister.

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