Saudi Arabia will have its first orchestra and opera. France will help to set them up. The two countries signed agreements on Monday to boost cultural ties and cooperation. France's Culture Minister said: "Today, an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and an opera." The Paris Opera will help Saudi Arabia produce its own performances. Plans are already under way to build the country's first opera house in the kingdom's second largest city, Jeddah. Saudi Arabia will invest $64 billion in its entertainment industry over the next 10 years.
The agreement is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 project. He wants to modernize Saudi life. Other parts of the cultural agreement will see French archaeologists developing Saudi Arabia's northwest region of Al-Ula. This area is rich in ancient archaeological sites. French archaeologists will help to preserve the area. Another important part of the agreement is the translation of literature. France's Culture Minister stressed, "the importance of translating books in both directions, from Arabic into French and French into Arabic".