Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Chairman Prince Sultan bin Salman said that all efforts to help recover national treasures are welcome and appreciated.
“The antiquities are national treasure and all efforts to recover them are highly appreciated,” Prince Sultan said during a signing ceremony of a cooperation accord with Aramco on Sunday in Yanbu.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a meeting organized by the SCTA to introduce a project to develop the historical center of Yanbu city. Prince Sultan pointed out that the agreement coincides with the preparation for the Retrieved National Antiquities Forum that will be held the coming year and coinciding with Janadriyah festival.
The chairman of SCTA also referred to the strong cooperation and the distinguished partnership between the SCTA and Aramco in the field of antiquities that resulted in cooperation in antiquities exploration in the Eastern Province, the cooperation in preserving antiquities, the exchange of expertise in field research, administrative development and tourism investments.
Prince Sultan said the commission is launching a campaign that aims at building awareness on the importance of retrieving national antiquities which are in the possession of the citizens or non-Saudis, who received them by one way or the other.
Prince Sultan stressed that the national antiquities are possessions of the Kingdom and are national treasures that need to be preserved and protected by law.
“Some pieces were exported by travelers who toured the Arabian Peninsula for tens of years, while some pieces were transported by workers who knew the value of antiquities,” he said, adding that some of those people are aware of the retrieving program started by the Kingdom and are responding to them. According to the agreement Aramco will exert all efforts in coordination with the commission to retrieve national antiquities that are in the possession of its former employees.
Prince Sultan confirmed that those pieces will be registered at the national antiquities’ registry and later be loaned back to Aramco to be exhibited in the company’s museums.