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RIYADH: The Heritage Authority launched the first day of the International Workshop on Industrial Heritage in JAX District to promote awareness about industrial heritage, its preservation and diversification.

Held from May 7 to May 8 in Diya, the workshop will cover topics such as industrial heritage globally, industrial heritage within the Kingdom and case studies on revitalization and restoration of industrial heritage sites.

The workshop will feature world experts lecturing and sharing their case studies, including Tosh Warwick from the UK, Mitsuko Nishikawa from Japan and Mirhan Tamin, who will discuss his expertise in industrial heritage in Egypt.

Opening remarks for the workshop were delivered by Jasser Al-Harbash, CEO of the Heritage Authority, who highlighted the Kingdom’s significant industrial heritage sites, particularly in the mining sector.

Following the opening remarks, several workshop participants and speakers were honored with plaques, including Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage in Bahrain, Amal Al-Harbi of JAX District, and Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain. Dr. Massimo Breit, International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage.

The first session of the workshop provided a broad overview of international industrial heritage, with panelists sharing insights from Germany, Latin America and the UK.

Marion Steiner, Secretary General of TICCIH, delivered a lecture on the interpretation and global perspective of industrial heritage.

He stressed that universal understanding of industrial heritage leads to better understanding of each other and builds peace in the minds of men and women.

Steiner told Arab News that meetings like the workshop hosted by the Saudi Heritage Commission „serve as part of a process that leads to a better understanding of what connects us across places and peoples through history and time.”

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Miles Oglethorpe, President of TICCIH, discussed the broad definition of industrial heritage and the extensive list of sectors that fall into this category, such as agriculture, mining, oil and gas, heavy industries and water desalination.

He explained that industrial heritage includes sites, structures and premises and their associated documentation and history.

„It includes material assets and immovable and immovable and intangible dimensions, the complex social and cultural legacy that has shaped knowledge, work and the organization of workers and the lives of communities and brought about major institutional changes for entire societies. The world in general,” said Oglethorpe.

As part of the workshop, the commission set up several VR stations that allow users to explore the Kingdom’s industrial heritage sites, including oil and gas projects. These stations provided information on engineering feats such as the oil boom tapeline of the 1950s.

By hosting this international workshop, the Kingdom aims to take a proactive approach to documenting its industrial heritage. The workshop invited participants to share international expertise, exchange insights and engage in discussions on strategies for safeguarding industrial heritage.

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