CNN coverage of "Road of Arabia Expo" at Louvre





CNN coverage of the Kingdom’s exhibition, ‘Saudi Archeological Masterpieces through the Ages’ which was hosted by Louvre Museum in Paris and organized by SCTH from 13th August 2010 for two months.​

CNN’s reporter through her ‘ICON’ program takes stock of the events on the inaugural day of Roads of Arabia Exhibition at the Louvre Museum.
 
CNN Reporter:  Archaeologists have discovered treasures from below the deserts in Saudi Arabia, a set of prehistoric ornaments of the early kingdoms to the artifacts from the birth of Islam.  300 objects are on display at the Louvre Museum here in Paris.

These fragments of history show how the ancient trade routes have created cultural as well as commercial links between East and West.

This Major Exhibition is first of its kind outside of the Middle East. ‘Icon’ joins the Saudi Royal family for the opening for the ‘Roads to Arabia’ exhibit.
 
As Prince Saud Al Faisal, Saudi Foreign Minister and Bernard Kouchner sign the visitor’s book in the Museum…
 
Signing in the commemorative book by HRH Saud Al Faisal Al Saud and French Foreign Minister HE Bernard Kouchner marks the friendship between the two nations that extends beyond Politics or trade.

  Dr. Ali Al Ghabban, Vice President Museums and Antiquity in SCTH interviewed here.
 
Dr. Ali Al Ghabban: It is one of the most important Museums in the world. Saudi Arabia in reality has had three major roles - first the economic role, second the religious role, and third the political role in the world. We want to add to its deep history, its profound participation the human civilization.

Pointing to the heritage door of Kabah’a displayed behind him in the Louvre exhibition, Al Ghabban says, “This is a door, it was used in the Kabah, and it goes back to the beginning of the 17th century, which is a master piece. We have only two doors left from the past.”

CNN: Where was this found?
 
Al Ghabban: This is from Makkah.
 
CNN Reporter continues: It was French Former President Jacques Chirac and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who set a ‘cross cultural exchange in motion’ with Louvre Museum, which plays a central role.
 
Archaeologists, Curators and Restorers of the Louvre and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage have been sharing artistic and scientific knowledge and building a relationship that will create a solid foundation for the future collaborations.
 
CARINNE JUVIN Louvre Dept. of Islamic Arts punctuates her views, thus:
 
“I am proud to say that this exhibition contains 300 artifacts, some of these have never been shown outside of Saudi Arabia and some presented here have never even been shown inside Saudi Arabia. Some were discovered very recently, like the huge statues at Al Ula site. They have been restored here in the Louvre for the purpose of the exhibition.”
 
CNN Reporter continues:  Major discoveries are a part of the exhibition story. It is a tale of Arabia across routes of ancient civilizations, Egypt and Rome to the West, India and China to the East.
 
Travelers flood across the Arabian Peninsula, Caravan cities moved along with desert trade groups, sailors, navigated the seaways and Muslim pilgrims headed towards the holy cities of Madinah and Mecca. All of these migrations left their mark on the culture of Arabia.
 
HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of SCTH interviewed by the CNN
 
CNN: This exhibition, Roads to Arabia, what do you hope it will achieve for Saudi Arabia?
 
Prince Sultan bin Salman: It is really a masterpiece of exhibition.  It is a breakthrough and of course the Louvre has a reputation and it is a strategic partner for us. Not just exhibiting but also trading, restoration. So we need to be coming from somewhere. We didn’t just come from deep oil wells or we don’t just come from big economy or from most cherished position as the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the Land of Islam (Our credibility is our deep history and cultural heritage to be here).
 
Islam in fact when it came to Arabia and especially to Makkah, Mecca those days was actually like the internet to have spread the word.  There was no communication in those days other than people’s exchange through the word of mouth. So, when Islam came to Arabia, it did not come to an empty wild land or a void land expanse, it did not come on a blank sheet of paper, rather it came on the shoulders of a great civilization. This is what this exhibition is about to show. The depth of the history of that great land.
 
CNN: Middle East is helping to shape the future success of the Louvre; 20 years ago the architects have achieved geometric perfection with the Louvre Pyramids placing the museum at the forefront of the modern design.
 
Now, it is the turn of the architecture to achieve the greatness with its design of the new Islamic Arts wing. They have created a bold statement. The glass roof is inspired by the flow of a Muslim veil. The section is still under construction it will be completed by 2012.  Like the pyramids, there is a hope that the structure itself will attract as many visitors as the antiquities inside it.
 
HENRI LOYRETTE, Louvre Director puts forth Louvre’s future plan for the Middle East.
 
“We are building a museum in Abu Dhabi which is something very important for us as we have many cultures in the Middle East. It is a part of our tradition.”

CNN Reporter continues: Expected to hear different cultures of Arabia making their way around the World. The Louvre is only the first stop to the roads of Arabian cultural tour. It will travel to the major galleries across Europe, Asia and America in the coming years.
 
A long shot of Louvre Ends the CNN’s tryst with “Roads of Arabia” ….