The Foundation Board of the International alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH) held its 10th meeting in Riyadh on October 27th. The meeting was hosted by Saudi Minister of Culture and ALIPH Foundation Board member, His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, who was represented by the Vice Minister of Culture, His Excellency Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, and steered by the Chairman of the Foundation, Thomas S. Kaplan. The Board agreed on a series of landmark decisions to further advance the Foundation’s work to protect cultural heritage in conflict and post-conflict areas.
Under the adopted decisions, ALIPH will be able to broaden its scope of work and expand its operational footprint. While continuing to provide grants critical to the preservation of cultural heritage, the Foundation will also play the role of an operator whenever necessary.
Due to the positive impact of the Foundation’s work and its numerous partners, ALIPH will open an office in Riyadh at the beginning of 2023. Saudi Arabia has offered to host and fund this office, enabling the foundation to increase support for its projects in the Middle East and grow its partnerships in the region.
“The ALIPH Foundation undertakes incredibly valuable and important work in the preservation and rehabilitation of cultural heritage in conflict zones. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is honored and delighted to support the ALIPH Foundation in its noble efforts through funding the establishment of its regional office in Riyadh, one of the fastest growing cities in the world, which will enable the Foundation to strengthen the international and regional focus of its work” His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud.
The Foundation Board also adopted 16 new heritage projects for nearly USD 8 million. This brings the total number of ALIPH supported projects to nearly 180 in over 30 countries since ALIPH became operational in 2018.
During ALIPH’s second Donors’ Conference at the Musée du Louvre in Paris on 31 January 2022, the Foundation raised nearly USD 90 million in pledges, in particular from France and Saudi Arabia (USD 30 million each), the United Arab Emirates (USD 20 million), as well as from Morocco, Luxembourg, China, Kuwait, Monaco, and Oman.
“In just four years, ALIPH has established itself as a central actor in what has sadly become a growth industry. With today’s Board proceedings, ALIPH has once again demonstrated its unique agility with the approval of 16 new projects for funding, totaling some USD 8 million — most of them emergency measures to protect cultural heritage in conflict areas. Furthermore, the decision to create an ALIPH office in Riyadh will reinforce the Foundation’s capacity for responsiveness and its ability to act as an operator when and where necessary,” Thomas S. Kaplan.
Prior to the Foundation Board meeting, on the October 26th, a workshop with international experts on heritage protection was convened, hosted by the Heritage Commission of Saudi Arabia – marking the first event of its kind for ALIPH.