Saudi Arabia Al-Ula

MBS' vision for Saudi Arabia tests the limits of the art of soft power

In depth
Issue 1170 - 02 Jun 2023 | 10 minute read

Huge art and archaeology projects say a lot about contemporary Saudi Arabia, as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) pushes ahead with ever-expanding ambitions to remodel the country's economy and society. Major cultural developments in the north-west are emerging as a hub, with big budgets drawing in international institutions, architects, artists and curators, but the changes also provide scope for significant local expression, including for female and younger artists – even as MBS' critics languish in prison, some facing death penalties.

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