ROME: Prince Badr bin Abdullah, the Saudi minister of culture, on Tuesday officially opened an exhibition in Rome featuring 450 rare artifacts that showcase the cultural development and heritage of the Kingdom.
In his speech at The National Roman Museum during the inauguration of The Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia across the Ages, the prince said: “We hope the exhibition’s visitors will find their passions satisfied in a journey that will take them to all the Kingdom’s historical periods, from the Stone Age to its unification by the founding king.”
He added: “My country is experiencing a major cultural renaissance, with the support of its leadership.” Prince Badr described Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as “the leader of our cultural renaissance,” whose support for “the arts and culture sector in the Kingdom comes from a strong belief in its importance in building bridges between nations and cultures.”
He continued: “The exhibition provides an opportunity to learn more about the rich cultural history of both Saudi Arabia and Italy. We are confident that the exhibition will contribute to increasing understanding of the shared history between the Kingdom and Italy through the ages.”
Other dignitaries at the inauguration included Dario Franceschini, the Italian minister of cultural heritage and activities. The traveling exhibition was launched at the Louvre in Paris in July 2010. Rome, where it will remain for three months, is the 17th location it has visited, and it has welcomed 5 million visitors.
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture, which organized the exhibition in cooperation with other official bodies, said the event aims to highlight Saudi culture, promote cultural exchange, preserve artifacts and ensure their status as national treasures, and underline the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage
The staging of the exhibition in Rome, the ministry added, reflects the long-standing cultural relations between Saudi Arabia and Italy, and continues the historical connections that link Arab civilization with the city of art and culture.