President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz toured the Freer and Sackler Galleries, which make up part of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. today. He was accompanied by Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.
Upon arrival, Prince Sultan was received by the Museum’s Secretary-General, Wayne Clough, and other senior officials. The two sides held a discussion regarding the arrangements for Saudi Arabia’s “Masterpieces through the Ages” Exhibition, which will open at the Smithsonian on November 17, 2012. Prince Sultan stated that the antiquities to be displayed will shed light on the cultural, scientific and social history of the Arabian Peninsula. The Exhibition attracted millions of visitors during a four-leg tour through France, Spain, Russia and Germany, and is now scheduled for a five-city tour across the United States.
Prince Sultan also toured the Air and Space Museum, which is currently displaying the Space Shuttle Discovery. In 1985, Prince Sultan travelled to outer space on the Discovery, becoming the first Arab Muslim astronaut.