AlUla I care campaign
David Popa's artwork at AlUla Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Royal Commission for ALUla (RCU) announced the launch of the ‘I Care’ campaign to promote the need to safeguard AlUla’s landscape of cultural assets in a press release. The campaign, starting from February 1, would boost economic development and align with the Saudi Vision 2030.

The release said the RCU partnered with American artist David Popa to create a landmark piece set within the AlUla landscape. The artwork shows two hands around the Tomb of Lihyan, son of Kuza – Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO world heritage site.

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This artwork – Popa’s largest to date – takes the form of two protective hands emerging from the sand and encircling the tomb, symbolising the need for collective action to conserve Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. The installation incorporates traditional Arabic patterns in the flowing sleeves, blending with the natural landscape, natural elements, including yellow earth from Europe and red earth from the Middle East. Notably, due to its scale, the artwork can only be seen from the sky.

Famous for his sustainable approach, Popa created a unique work of art that will disintegrate in weeks.

“The Kingdom has made great strides to conserve and develop its cultural heritage and rich collection of assets, including AlUla with its 200,000 years of human history. As guardians of this unique crossroads for civilisations, RCU is focused on raising people’s awareness of the need to engage with conservation efforts through the new I Care campaign,” said Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani, Executive Director of Archaeology, Conservation and Collections at RCU.

The campaign will target school children to teach them the importance of heritage protection and how landmarks connect with the community by providing workshops and community activities.

“AlUla’s heritage is a treasure for the entire world, and I have been enriched by the enlightening conversations I have had with the local storytellers, the Rawis, the Heritage Rangers, and the young ambassadors being trained in the Hammayah programme to take on guardianship of this invaluable heritage,” Popa said.