Since its opening on July 13, 2010, at the Louvre Museum, Paris, the Roads of Arabia has been hosted by 10 international museums in Europe and the US, from where it moved to the Asia tour with the first stop in Beijing in 2016.
It was held in the South Korean capital of Seoul in the middle of this year and then moved to the National Museum in Riyadh in November as part of the first Saudi Archaeology Forum. Riyadh was the second Saudi city to host the prestigious exhibition: It was hosted earlier by the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran under the patronage of King Salman in December 2016.
The Roads of Arabia and some of the accompanying exhibitions at the National Museum have now finished, having attracted a remarkable turnout of 200,000 visitors over a month and a half that included diplomatic delegations, ministers and senior officials.
A few of the exhibitions hosted as part of the archaeology forum at the National Museum have been extended for some days as per instructions from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
The forthcoming schedule for the exhibition in 2018 besides Tokyo includes Istanbul in June and the Louvre Abu Dhabi later in the year.
Setsuo Ohmori, deputy head of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Riyadh, told Arab News that the opening ceremony for the Roads of Arabia at Tokyo National Museum is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2018.
He added that Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTH, is expected to attend the ceremony.
Jamal S. Omar, director general of the National Museum in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Many of the visitors had little idea about the archaeological depth and findings and were surprised to see it over the exhibition period.”
The exhibition gave visitors the opportunity to see 466 antiquities that identify the civilization and culture of the Kingdom through different ages, Omar said.
Earlier, Diaa-Eddin Saed Bamakhrama, dean of the diplomatic corps and ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti in Riyadh, who led a diplomatic delegation to the exhibition, said it was a learning experience, especially in light of the Arabian Peninsula’s strategic geographical location in the heart of the world and its importance as the home of successive civilizations.