RIYADH: More than 1,100 historical objects taken to the US from Saudi Arabia have been returned to the Kingdom.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has undertaken registration of 1,127 artifacts and relics that it successfully managed to restore from America, in coordination with the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
Some of the items recovered date back to prehistoric times.
The director-general of archiving and protecting antiquities at SCTH, Naif Al-Qannour, said the commission had stepped up its efforts to recover national treasures from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Al-Qannour added that many of the objects had been voluntarily handed over to the Kingdom by relatives of US citizens who worked in Saudi Arabia during the 1960s.
Abdul Aziz Al-Dayel, head of the retrieved relics department, said experts from SCTH sort, take photos and document the items, and then record them on the commission’s national relics register. The distinctive pieces will be showcased at the restored relics pavilion in the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, he added.
A SCTH awareness campaign has been set up to promote the importance of returning heritage artifacts and offers financial rewards to those who return items or report them lost or stolen.
To date, more than 53,000 pieces have been recovered from inside and outside the Kingdom.