(WASHINGTON, DC) – His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution G. Wayne Cough, last week inaugurated the opening of the exhibition, “Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 17.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 15, Prince Sultan expressed the Kingdom’s commitment to cultural exchange as shown by the exhibition. “This exhibition aims to display to the whole world the rich cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he stated. "The message of this exhibition is very clear, that this great country [Saudi Arabia] was and still is open to other cultures and welcomes cultural exchange, and will continue to be the base for humanitarian and cultural initiatives.”
“Roads of Arabia” uncovers the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Visitors will be introduced to a largely unknown ancient past of the Kingdom with more than 320 artifacts from the National Museum in Riyadh, King Saud University Museum, King Fahd National Library, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, and the King Abdul Aziz Library in Medinah, in addition to a number of items found in the latest archaeological excavations. The relics cover a period of time starting from the Stone Age (1 Million B.C.) to the present Saudi State.
The Smithsonian exhibition will reside in the Sackler Gallery through Feb. 24, 2013. It will be hosted by number of museums throughout the U.S during the next two years. Highlights of the exhibit, including photo slideshows, interactive maps and videos, can also be seen at roadsofarabia.com.