‎"Investing in culture: the social and economic impacts", the first international conference of its ‎kind in the Arab world was‏ ‏‎Held in Bahrain National Theater, on January 19, 2016. The ‎conference was organized by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, the Arab Regional ‎Centre for World Heritage and the French Foundation "Thinkers & Doers.‎

More than 300 participants from organizations active in the cultural field, including the head of ‎the Arab World Institute in Paris and former French Minister of Culture Mr. Jack Lang, the ‎Director General of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islammiyah HE Sheikha Hussa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the ‎vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museums HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed ‎Al Thani, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Nationality, Passports & Residence ‎Affairs HE Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, owner of “Gallery institution” ‎ Kamel Munawar, ‎the representative of “Art Dubai Foundation” Antonia Carver, the responsible of The Middle East ‎program of World Monuments Fund ‎ Alessandra Peruzzetto, a number of official figures, ‎ambassadors accredited in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and journalists from international and local ‎media.‎

At the opening session of the conference, speakers showcased how investing in culture can ‎be turned into a real channel for communication between civilizations and cultures, support ‎sustainable development and strengthen cooperation between the public and the private ‎sectors.‎

They also explained how can be turned into a real asset for prosperity and a benefit for all. The ‎former of Culture Jack Lang said that the reason for the increasing of the number of visitors to ‎the Louvre from one million to 10 million are the investments the government spent in ‎restoring and modernizing the museum. ‎

At the closure of the opening session Mr. Jack Lang, awarded‎ HE Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa the ‎medal of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (Officier de L'ordre des arts et des lettres), in ‎recognition for her efforts in investing and promoting culture.‎

The conference hosted many workshops and panel discussions held at the Bahrain National ‎Museum and the Arab ‎ Regional Centre for World Heritage. Participants discussed the benefits ‎of cultural projects, the evaluation criteria for identifying the right projects, and the ‎importance of the involvement of the young generation in the culture industry.‎

At the end of the conference, Bahrain Musical Band held a musical show led by Maestro Maysa ‎Jonoshi.‎

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