Roads of Arabia: Archeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia’ exhibition, a joint initiative of Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), was inaugurated today at the National Museum of China in the Chinese Capital, Beijing.
The inauguration was attended by HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, President of the SCTNH, H.E. Mr. Luo Shugang, China’s Minister of Culture, Nasser A. Al-Nafisee, Saudi Aramco Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and several diplomatic and cultural dignitaries.
Featuring important archaeological relics illustrating the depth of the Arab civilization and its history of more than one million years, the exhibition includes more than 400 archaeological pieces selected from the National Museum in Riyadh, the King Saud University Museum, and other museums. The artifacts cover the prehistoric and pre-Islamic periods, the early, middle, and late Arabian kingdoms and civilizations, and the Islamic period until the establishment of the Kingdom throughout its three stages until the reign of King Abdulaziz.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Saudi Aramco's VP Corporate Affairs, Nasser Al-Nafisee, highlighted the depth of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula’s heritage. He said that thanks to its location on the old Silk Road, the Arabian Peninsula always held special importance for the Chinese people. “Commercial and cultural exchanges between our ancestors played an important role in shaping the world as we know today,” he said.
Al-Nafisee continued: "This dynamic relationship continues today, and Saudi Arabia, represented by Saudi Aramco, is China’s primary energy supplier, contributing to China’s economic development and prosperity. Our historically-close ties are not confined to the supply of crude oil or the exchange of commodities only but extends to our common aspirations in connection to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the overall development of the Chinese and Saudi peoples, who are our most precious resource.”
The exhibition was displayed in Saudi Arabia in November 2016 as part of the inauguration of the Dhahran-based King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, when the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman ibn Abdulaziz, launched the Asian tour of the Archaeological Masterpieces of Saudi Arabia Exhibition. The exhibition will reside at the National Museum of China for three months, then will travel to South Korea and Japan. Saudi Aramco is sponsoring the Exhibition's Asian tour.
The exhibition’s Asian tour is in line with the Kingdom's efforts to bolster ties and enhance cultural communication with the Far East. It came as result of the visit to China and Japan earlier this year by HRH Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince.
Saudi Aramco's sponsorship of the exhibition illustrates its commitment to the preservation of the Kingdom's heritage as outlined in Vision 2030. With support from SCTNH under the Archaeological Relics Recovery Project, the Company helped recover many archaeological relics discovered by former Saudi Aramco expatriate employees.
The exhibition aims to educate the world on the civilization and history of the Arabian Peninsula through historical treasures that embody the cultural dimensions of the region, and to enhance the cultural communication between the peoples of the world. The ‘Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Masterpieces of Saudi Arabia’ exhibition tour was initiated by Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and SCTNH in 2012, when the Exhibition’s first tour took place in the United States and Europe.