Thousands of Saudi artifacts returned to Kingdom

December 24, 2009

Saudi Arabia has retrieved more than 10,000 of its artifacts from other countries, Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), said on Wednesday, Arab News reported today.

“Retrieving antiquities has now become a national issue,” Prince Sultan bin Salman said, adding that the government would continue its efforts to bring back Saudi artifacts scattered across the world.

Prince Sultan said the SCTA with the cooperation of other government agencies would prevent the theft of antiquities, especially the ones from the Islamic heritage sites in Makkah and Madinah.

“Saudi Arabia is replete with a large number of valuable antiquities and protection of these artifacts is a national duty,” he said, adding that the Kingdom would not tolerate smuggling of antiquities.

Prince Sultan said the Kingdom would host the first international conference on architectural heritage on April 18.