Sultan Bin Salman: Saudi Arabia, with Its Extensive Experience, Has Become One of the World’s Leading Countries in the Field of Archaeology and Museums

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INAUGURATED ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES OF CHINA EXHIBITION AT RIYADH NATIONAL MUSEUM:
Sultan bin Salman: Saudi Arabia, with its extensive experience, has become one of the world’s leading countries in the field of archaeology and museums
  • Archaeology sector has made great achievements with the support of King Salman who has been contemporary of the sector since its establishment 50 years ago.
  • The land of Saudi Arabia was an important station for the Silk Road, for which China is currently drawing up a plan to develop it and benefit from it in tourism and economy.
  • China is an important pivotal country exactly like Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to attracting Chinese tourists after the opening of tourist visas in the near future, God willing.
His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has inaugurated "Treasures of China" Exhibition on Wednesday hosted by the National Museum in Riyadh in the presence of Mr.  Hu Bing, deputy administrator of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and Mr. Li Huaxin, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and His Excellency, the ambassador of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to China Mr. Turki Al-Madhi.

His Highness the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the exhibition in which he stressed that the Saudi Arabia, with its extensive experience and relations with prestigious international universities and research centres, has become one of the world’s leading countries in the field of archaeological discoveries, scientific research and the development of human resources working in the field of heritage and archaeology, all of which is carried out within the framework of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program to Take Care of the Cultural Heritage of the KSA, which includes a system of integrated and advanced projects.

He said, ‘Since the establishment of the Archaeology Sector in Saudi Arabia 50 years ago, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz has been a contemporary, follow-up and support for it. When the SCTH was handed over the Archaeology Sector in 1429H, it was a productive sector achieving a lot of scientific achievements in terms of research and museums under the supervision of praiseworthy professors and archaeologists and achieved by the hands of loyal Saudi citizens, who fulfilled what they are entrusted to achieve. The SCTH which the State has entrusted with the protection of one of the most important elements of our homeland, which is its cultural history, has  built on the great achievements of national antiquities and strengthened them in the field of archaeological discoveries and the efforts to protect and restore national antiquities, and the establishment of  new and sophisticated museum system, as well as museum development projects, on top of which is the National Museum, which is considered one of the achievements of King Salman and which was kicked off on the centennial anniversary.

His Highness confirmed that The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is characterized by its pivotal and strategic position, being in the heart of the Muslim world, and its highly important geographic location, where throughout history it has been a crossroads of civilizations, and an important station for the historic Silk Road, for which China is currently drawing up a plan to develop it and benefit from it in tourism and economy.

His Highness considered the Treasures of China exhibition as an important step forward for the special and distinguished relations between the two friendly countries, the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which are both great countries in their original history and ancient civilizations. Both countries are characterized by strong relations in various fields including cultural heritage. He pointed out that the relationship between the two countries is historical and old going back to the reign of late King Abdul-Aziz, may Allah rest his soul. The KSA has always been keen on establishing extended and balanced relations with the East and the West.

His Highness pointed out that the exhibition comes as an extension of co-operation between Saudi Arabia and China in the field of archaeology, museums and human civilizations, the important start of which was organizing one of the successful international exhibition stations: “Roads of Arabian Expo- Saudi Arabia artefacts across ages” organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in The National Museum at the Chinese capital, Beijing, which was opened on the 20th of Dec. 2016 under the auspices of the Chinese Minister of Culture, Luo Shugang. We were all honoured, by the Custodian of the Two Mosques, King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz Al- Saud- May Allah protect him–and  Xi Jinping, the president of the People's Republic of China sponsoring its closing ceremony on 16 March 2017.

The framework of the cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia and China in the field of archaeology includes archaeological research, archaeology exhibitions and museum activities. There are also the excavation works being currently implemented by the joint Saudi - Chinese team at Al-Sereen site in Qunfudha Governorate within the agreement framework and within the international Saudi missions working at archaeological excavations at different regions of Saudi Arabia, during which a number of pieces were uncovered showing communication between the Chinese Civilizations and the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula.

His Highness considered the exhibition as an encounter of two great civilizations and two big economies, and there can never be any economic and political partnership except in the presence of a civilized and human encounter and each people’s understanding of the other people's civilization and cultural backgrounds.

He added,’ China is an important pivotal country exactly like Saudi Arabia. Therefore, there are many areas of cooperation in the fields of humanitarian and cultural heritage, in addition to tourism, especially as Chinese tourists are considered of the most important tourists in the world and we look forward to attracting them to Saudi Arabia after the opening of tourist visas in the near future, God willing.

Afterwards, the deputy administrator of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China made a statement in which he expressed his pride in holding the China Treasures Exhibition in the Saudi capital, and in the country that witnessed ancient civilizations. He pointed out that the exhibition of the Kingdom's artifacts held in Beijing was one of the most successful exhibitions as it introduced the Chinese of the history of the Saudi Arabia, and its ancient humanitarian civilizations.

He said that the Treasures of China Exhibition showcases beautiful and valuable pieces of artifacts that highlight Chinese civilizations through the ages.

He added that China and Saudi Arabia enjoy a long history and a wonderful culture, despite the distance between them. He thanked Prince Sultan for his support and interest in holding the exhibition.

In his speech, Mr. Li Huaxin, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressed the importance of the exhibition in enhancing the distinguished relations between Saudi Arabia and China in various fields, highlighting the great cooperation between the two countries in the field of archeology, museums and archeological excavations where there is a Chinese mission within the international missions working in Saudi Arabia in the field of archaeological discoveries. He pointed out that holding “Roads of Arabian Expo- Saudi Arabia artefacts across ages” in Beijing in 2016 received great attention from the Chinese, as it was an important event for the relations between the two countries after it was honored by the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Chinese president.

After that, His Highness cut the ribbon of the exhibition and then toured the exhibition, which includes 200 artifacts from the Chinese civilization treasures.

The exhibition, which runs until 15 Rabi’ all Awal 1440H (13 September to 23 November 2018), includes a collection of antiquities from the archaeological excavations and historical antiquities collected from ten Chinese museums.

The exhibits vary from pottery, bronze, jade, porcelain, gold, silver, enamel, and many other Chinese treasures.

The exhibition aims to introduce the development of Chinese civilization, and to showcase social life, culture and the arts of Chinese civilizations all through thousands of years.

The exhibition comes as an extension of co-operation in the field of archaeology between Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China in the framework of the joint cooperation agreement signed between   Saudi Arabia represented by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, and the People’s Republic of China represented by the State Administration of the Cultural Heritage of China in archaeology which includes cooperation in the fields of archaeological research, archaeology exhibitions and museum activities. 

On the sideline of the exhibition, the Saudi National Museum is going to display relics of the Chinese archaeological artifacts recovered during the archaeological excavations at various sites of Saudi Arabia. These artifacts represent the commercial exchange between China and the Arabian Peninsula civilizations. An avenue will be allocated to introduce the excavation work being implemented currently by the joint Saudi-Chinese team at Al-Sereen site in Qunfudha Governorate  within the international Saudi missions working at archaeological excavations in Saudi Arabia.

It should be pointed out that the SCTH has signed  agreements with a number of countries  where ‘Roads to Arabia, Archaeological Treasures of the Saudi Arabia’ exhibition was held to hold archaeological exhibitions at Riyadh National Museum and so the coming period will witness a number of archaeological and heritage exhibitions from various countries of the world to be displayed at the National Museum within the Visiting Exhibition Program at the museum which is considered one of the tracks of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program to Take care of Cultural Heritage implemented by the SCTH.
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