Saudi Arabia’s Archeological Masterpieces Exhibition opens in Kansas City

April 24, 2014

President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and Kansas City Mayor Sly James opened the “Saudi Arabia’s Archeological Masterpieces Through the Ages” Exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri last night. As many as 250 artifacts will be displayed during the show’s two-month run.

The Museum’s Director gave a speech in which he expressed pride in hosting the event, which will introduce visitors to the civilizational heritage of the Arabian Peninsula. The ceremony was also addressed by the Kansas City Mayor and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum, Shirley Bush Helzberg, who praised bilateral relations and cooperation between the Kingdom and the United States.

During his own speech, Prince Sultan characterized the Exhibition as window allowing viewers to witness the ancient history and prosperous present of a friendly country that is the cradle of Islam. He commended deep, historic relations between the Kingdom and the United States since the meeting of the late King Abdulaziz and former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt following the World War II. Prince Sultan highlighted the Kingdom’s important position in the global economy and the positive role it has played at the regional and international levels. He concluded, “The masterpieces exhibitions represent an important element in the larger project, which is the King Abdullah Project for the Care of Civilizational Heritage, recently approved by the Cabinet in the Kingdom [that] aims at the rehabilitation of the national heritage.”

Afterwards, Prince Sultan attended a dinner to celebrate the occasion. The opening ceremony and dinner were attended by Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir; the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah Al-Mo’allemi; and a number of other officials.

Kansas City is the fourth stop on the Exhibition’s five-leg tour of the United States. The artifacts were previously hosted by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The Exhibition has also been shown in France, Spain, Russia and Germany.