Tunis/Tunisia — Prime Minister Youssef Chahed inaugurated, on Thursday in Bardo, the Ksar Said renamed "Ksar Said, Palace of Letters and Arts", now open to the public.
The inauguration of this recently restored beylical palace saw the opening of an exhibition entitled "The Regency of Tunis ... Window of the Mediterranean".
This exhibition is being held on the launch of the "Tunis Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019" event and the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of Independence Day.
This is the second exhibition at the Ksar Said palace, after its restoration. Previously, this palace long closed for restoration work had hosted an exhibition entitled "The Awakening of a Nation", organised from November 25, 2016 to February 27, 2017, on the initiative of the Rambourg Foundation.
The Prime Minister toured the exhibition accompanied by the Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohamed Zine El Abidine and Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri.
An official ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Ksar Saïd Palace, in the presence of host delegations and ambassadors of Islamic countries accredited in Tunisia.
Previously, the host delegations visited the headquarters of the House of People's Representatives (HPR), located near the Ksar Saïd Palace.
The Prime Minister welcomed Tunisian guests from several Islamic countries. He commended Yemen and Bahrain, which handed on the torch of the Capital of Islamic Culture event to Tunisia, as well as Egypt that will take it over in 2020.
Chahed announced that "this space is ready for use in the best possible way", calling for facilitating the task of cultural entrepreneurs.
Addressing the rich tangible and intangible heritage of Tunisia, he spoke of a number that "is close to 30 thousand monuments and historical points of which only about 6 pc are exploited".
The Prime Minister also recalled the national artistic heritage "estimated at 13 thousand paintings and objects of art preserved in the Tunisian warehouses that need to be valorised and built upon." Ksar Said has always sheltered a large part of this artistic heritage.
Chahed highlighted the state's investment in cultural projects, saying "any investment is a successful investment".
However, he recalled that the revenues of cultural entrepreneurship are felt over years and immediate gain is not a concern for the state.
"I call all Tunisians, intellectuals and creators to support this space dedicated to them," he said, adding that "the state is also called to make more efforts to promote such monuments".
The Premier also said he had discussed with the Minister of Cultural Affairs the issue of state cultural institutions and spaces to ensure they "open for free to the public, every day of the week, including the weekend ".
The Minister of Cultural Affairs has described this historic monument, now open to the public, as a "government project added to other cultural projects supported by the State".
The director of ISESCO spoke of a "historic event celebrating Tunisia, Capital of Islamic Culture, a country renowned for its dynamic and ancient history, as evidenced by the re-developed multiple spaces and historic buildings."
He announced that ISESCO will work in co-ordination with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and its institutions so that the year be "rich in events for a better visibility of the history of Tunisia, anchored in time".
The event marks the beginning of the celebration of the "Tunis, Capital of Islamic Culture 2019" event whose official start will take place this afternoon at the City of Culture.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, "Tunis, Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019" is an event organised by the ISESCO.