A seminar on retrieved antiques recently concluded at Janadriyah and it called on individuals who have Saudi antiques to register with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA). The registration book is maintained by the SCTA.
Recommendations of the first SCTA seminar on retrieved antiques organized under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah stressed the importance of cooperation between the Kingdom and other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to step up efforts for retrieval and preservation of antiques, the Saudi Press Agency reported Friday.
The seminar took place on the sidelines of an exhibition of retrieved antiques that opened at Janadriyah village on Feb.11.
The seminar also recommended organizing awareness campaigns highlighting the people’s responsibility to protect the country’s antiquities and also stressing the fact that destroying or disfiguring archaeological sites and trading in antiquities invited punishments.
The recommendations underscored the need to make people aware that the real ownership of heritage and antique items is with the state, which can guarantee the safeguarding of antiquities for future generations. People should also be aware of the historical and economic significance of their cultural heritage, the recommendations said.
The SCTA should take steps to stop illegal trading in antiques inside the Kingdom and abroad with the help of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Customs Department and Saudi Post. It should take steps for the documentation of all retrieved antiques, the recommendations said.
The seminar also pointed out that specialized public auction for antique objects under the supervision of SCTA would end illegal trafficking in antiques.
Vice President of Antiquities and Museums sector Ali Al-Ghabban warned in a workshop, conducted on the sidelines of the seminar, that even moving a piece of antiquity from its original location would deprive the artifact of is cultural value. He also urged citizens and expatriates to call the hotline on the toll free number 800755000 when they notice any development or suspicious move endangering an archaeological piece. Registration of an antique item is of extreme importance because it will establish the legitimate ownership of a valuable piece, he said.
“The new regulations governing antiques allow two years to register an item and prescribe severe punishment for illegal trafficking,” he said.
In another development, SCTA will organize a familiarization seminar on the role of tour organizers under the aegis of SCTA President Prince Sultan bin Salman in Riyadh on Sunday.
The workshop aims to encourage residents and officials of establishments including hospitals to deal with licensed tour organizers while planning to visit tourist destinations in the Kingdom. The workshop will also provide details of tourist locations in all provinces apart from opening channels of communication between officials of companies and licensed tour operators.
Abdullah Al-Johani, chief of the SCTA’s tourism department, said managers of 26 tour operating companies would participate. Tour operators will also organize an exhibition highlighting their services on the sidelines of the workshop.