Ministry of Culture to set up Red Sea Museum at Bab Al-Bunt in Jeddah


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Ministry of Culture announced that it would establish the Red Sea Museum in the Bab Al-Bunt heritage building in Jeddah Historical Area. The museum, which will showcase rare collections, manuscripts, pictures and books that tell the story of Bab Al-Bunt, will be opened in the end of 2022.

The historic building is regarded as a historical point of contact between dwellers of the Red Sea coast and the world in Jeddah’s capacity as a major gateway for pilgrims, merchants and tourists since several centuries in the past.

The over 100-year-old building was a place where pilgrims from all over the world gathered and the building was used as a medical center, where pilgrims were provided with health services before they were transferred to Makkah.

Believed to be one of Jeddah’s oldest buildings, Al-Bunt displays the beauty of its exterior walls and wooden windows, in addition to reflecting the interior design of its lobby and multiple rooms.

The ministry strives to make the Red Sea Museum a venue to celebrate the cultural value that the Red Sea coast represents and the experiences of its residents by focusing on stories of maritime navigation, trade, geology, pilgrimage, diversity and other unique cultural elements that have shaped the identity of Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah throughout history.

The museum will showcase more than 100 creative artworks, and hold four temporary annual exhibitions, in addition to conducting educational programs for members of the society in all their age groups.

The Red Sea Museum will represent a new artistic destination in the Kingdom that tells the story of human harmony and cultural richness in the spiritual journey of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims as well as that of an innovative simulation of interaction between different nationalities with all their customs, traditions and cultural achievements.

It will also be a cultural and historical window that provides an important record of the aesthetic and heritage values of coastal cities along the Red Sea and its cultural influence, given that Historical Jeddah and Bab Al-Bunt building are ideal examples of these values and the rich and varied history of human interactions.

The museum is part of the Quality of Life Program, one of the Realization Programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and is under the umbrella of the Specialized Museums Initiative announced by the Ministry of Culture in its first package of initiatives.

These include specialized museums that will be launched in succession in various cities of the Kingdom, covering diverse creative fields. These also encompass modern museums that employ contemporary artistic techniques and methods, as well as historical, heritage and cultural museums of higher knowledge value.