Prince Sultan bin Salman and G Wayne Clough declare open ‘Roads of Arabia’ Expo in Washington

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His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA, along with His Excellency the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G Wayne Clough, last Thursday, November 13 declared opened the "Saudi Archeological Masterpieces through the Ages" exhibition in Washington, DC, in the United States of America.

The exhibition which is also known as the ‘Roads of Arabia’ was opened at its first stop in the United States at the Smithsonian Institution's Arthur M. Sackler Museum. The events of the exhibition will last for three months before being transferred to other museums in the U.S.

The opening ceremony enjoyed a large coverage from the US and international media. The ceremony was attended from the Saudi side by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of King Faisal Center for Islamic Research and Studies and H.E. Adel Al Jubair, Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United States, in addition to a large number of prominent Arab and international political and cultural figures, the diplomatic corps, as well as hundreds of dignitaries representing governmental and non-governmental organizations, that are concerned with antiquities, heritage and culture, in the United States and a number of other countries in the world.

HRH President of SCTA in his speech during the opening ceremony of the exhibition said, “The exhibition 'Roads of Arabia' had its inception at the Louvre in Paris in 2011, and it is one of the series of exhibitions held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, aiming to highlight the cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During its previous legs in France, Spain, Russia and Germany, the exhibition had attracted over 1.5 million visitors to its corridors.”

"Many may know a lot about the three dimensions that distinguish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that shape its character among the countries of the world - The religious, political and economic dimension are the best known dimensions of the Kingdom internationally, which are clear to many, but the cultural dimension of the kingdom is confined to a handful specialists and scientists. This exhibition aims to display to the whole world the rich cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

"We wish to say through this exhibition that Islam, which emerged from the Arabian Peninsula, is a great religion, honoring all the previous civilizations. It was able to absorb them and build its great Islamic civilization upon them. The message of Islam has brought peace and justice to the world. The Kingdom is very proud of being the cradle of Islam, the home to the Two Holy Mosques, as well as proud for embracing a large number of archeological sites that reflects the important share of man in the Arabian Peninsula in the course of human civilization."

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not an incident in the course of human history. In reality, it was the cumulative result of a deep-rooted cultural heritage, as well as the inheritance of a series of pre-Islamic civilizations that crowned in the religion of Islam.”

HRH President of SCTA, further stated that, showcasing such a large number, variety and of exceptionally important relics outside the Kingdom is an extension to the international presence of the Kingdom and its outstanding position among the nations through its religious and economic weight, as well as its impact on the human relations, given its unique geographical location, which represents a key bridge for cultural and economic ties between the West and the East.

"The message of this exhibition is very clear, that this great country was and still is open to other cultures and welcomes cultural exchange, and will continue to be the base for the humanitarian and cultural initiatives.”
For his part, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G Wayne Clough, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the exhibition stated that, this exhibition has particular importance, where it is held in conjunction with the silver jubilee celebrations of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which hosts this exhibition. The relics of the Saudi exhibition have never been seen before in the United States of America. Smithsonian is proud to be the first stop and the host of this important exhibition in North America.
Dr. Julian Raby, Director of Sackler Museum in his speech at the opening ceremony, said, “While archaeologists continue with their exploration in the in the deep layers of the sandy desert of Saudi Arabia, the "Masterpieces of Saudi Arabia” exhibition at the right time has uncovered the layers of rich past of the ancient Arab Peninsula, exhibiting the radical transformation that were witnessed by the 7th century AD or the 1st century Hijri era.”
"During the past forty years archaeologists have embarked on an exploration and discovery of archaeological sites across the Arabian Peninsula, which resulted in important discoveries concerning its old past, of which archeologists had little information or no tangible evidence. This exhibition today with its 300 relics has opened up a large window through which we may peep at the history of the Arabian Peninsula."
His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA along with His Excellency Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G Wayne Clough, after addressing the opening ceremony cut the ribbon of the exhibition announcing the launch of its events in the Sackler Gallery.