The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), as the custodian of northwest Arabia’s cultural heritage, has initiated a comprehensive heritage conservation campaign called “I Care.” This campaign, launched on February 1, aims to enhance public knowledge, awareness, and commitment to preserving the ancient history of AlUla.
The “I Care” campaign focuses on RCU’s ongoing heritage protection projects in AlUla, emphasizing its significance as the world’s largest living museum in development. The campaign stresses the need to safeguard AlUla’s diverse cultural assets, both natural and manmade, as a means of fostering economic development, community engagement, and expanding knowledge in alignment with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
As a major part of the campaign, RCU has collaborated with US artist David Popa to create a unique landmark piece within AlUla’s landscape. This artwork, shaped like two protective hands, surrounds the iconic Tomb of Lihyan, Son of Kuza, a monumental heritage destination at Hegra, designated as Saudi Arabia’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008.
David Popa’s sustainable and innovative artwork symbolizes the ambition of “I Care” to protect and cherish historically and culturally valuable places. Constructed using natural elements, including yellow earth from Europe and red earth from the Middle East, the artwork is one of Popa’s largest and is designed to wither in a matter of weeks, presenting the urgency of collective action in safeguarding cultural heritage.
Dr. Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani, Executive Director of Archaeology, Conservation, and Collections at RCU, stated, “The I Care campaign is an important step towards increasing the AlUla community’s awareness and appreciation of the incredible history that exists on their doorstep.”
David Popa, the US artist, expressed his privilege in working on the project and emphasized that “I Care” is a celebration of AlUla’s legacy and traditions.
A key focus of the campaign is AlUla’s younger generation. RCU will provide schools with comprehensive toolkits and conduct workshops to educate the youth about the importance of heritage protection. The campaign aims to give knowledge and promote future discovery among residents, tourists, and Saudi citizens.
AlUla, with its diverse heritage sites, mountains, wadis, and desert scenery, has become a global destination for culture, history, and archaeological discovery. The region is home to the Nabataean city of Hegra, the Dadanite and Lihyanite kingdoms, the Jabal Ikmah open-air library, and AlUla Old Town, recognized by UNWTO as one of the Best Tourism Villages.
For more information on The Royal Commission for AlUla and its programs, visit rcu.gov.sa