Saudi Archeological Masterpieces Exhibition opens at the Smithsonian

November 16, 2012

President of the General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz opened the “Saudi Archeological Masterpieces through the Ages” Exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. yesterday evening. The exhibit, organized by the Saudi Tourism and Antiquities Authority in collaboration with the Sackler and Freer Galleries, includes 320 masterpieces illustrating the history of the Arabian Peninsula from the Stone Age to the present.

Addressing the gathering, Secretary General of the Smithsonian Foundation for Museums and Research G. Wayne Cliff and Director of the Sackler and Freer Galleries Dr. Julian Rabie welcomed the attendees. They expressed their pleasure that the Smithsonian was been selected by Saudi authorities to host the first leg of the Exhibition’s U.S. tour, which will continue in four other American cities over the next two years. The U.S. hosts explained that the Exhibition will provide a rare opportunity for Americans to experience Saudi history and civilization through artifacts that, until recently, had not left the Kingdom.

Then, memorial gifts were exchanged, the attendees were provided guided tours, and a dinner party was held in honor of the guests. The opening ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Board of Directors of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Prince Turki al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz; Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir; a number of U.S., Saudi, Arab and Islamic dignitaries and diplomats; members of the antiquities field; and a large media contingent.

The Exhibition will be opened to the public tomorrow. Several cultural activities will be held on its sidelines.

The Exhibition has already traveled to the Louvre Museum in Paris, the La Caixa Forum Museum in Barcelona, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Bergamo Museum in Berlin, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors.