Saudi masterpieces arrive in the US



ARAB NEWS

Published — Sunday 21 October 2012

Last update 23 October 2012 7:00 pm

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JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) is gearing up for the opening of the exhibition “Saudi Archaeological Masterpieces through the Ages.”
The show will be hosted from Nov. 15 at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. The exhibition will feature over 320 rare archaeological objects covering from the Paleolithic period (one million BC) until the foundation of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTA and chairman of trustees of the Smithsonian Institute, will inaugurate the three-month exhibition.
Relics of the exhibition had recently reached the Sackler Museum from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. The SCTA and the Sackler Museum are jointly preparing the relics for the showcasing stage in the museum.
The Saudi exhibition in the Sackler Museum is considered to be an unprecedented event on Saudi antiquities in the US. The Sackler Museum is one of five museums in the US that are scheduled to host the exhibition over a period of two years.
The exhibition will highlight the impact of ancient trade routes in the Arabian Peninsula on the cultural exchange and human communication, in addition to shedding light on the developments the ancient trade routes had witnessed with the emergence of Islam.
Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Ghabban, vice-president of SCTA for Antiquities and Museums, said, “The Sackler Museum is the fifth leg in the international tour of the exhibition. The Louvre Museum in Paris, France was the first leg. The exhibition then was hosted by La Caixa Foundation in Barcelona, Spain, and then the Hermitage Museum in Petersburg, Russia and finally it was hosted in Europe by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.”
International museums in the foregoing countries had requested SCTA to host the exhibition at their own expenses, which reflects the historical and cultural importance of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the great value of relics of the exhibition, which are displayed for the first time in such large variety and number outside the Kingdom.
In its past four legs in Europe, the exhibition had achieved great success. More than 1,200,000 visitors came to see the event, reflecting an international interest to take a closer look at the Saudi culture and its history.

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