(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Saudi Arabia Brings Back 1,127 Historic Relics Home
In a press statement, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) confirmed retrieving 1,127 heritage artifacts from the United States in coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
SCTH Director General of Archiving and Protecting Antiquities Naif Al-Qannour, for his part, confirmed that the commission, in cooperation with its partners, is relentlessly pouring efforts into the recovery of valuable national antiquities whether they are found inside or outside the kingdom.
Al-Qannour added that many of the objects had been voluntarily handed over to the Kingdom by relatives of US citizens who worked in Saudi Arabia during the 60s.
Split into two groups, the cited relics were retrieved over different phases—with 247 items being handed over by US citizen Mark Gold Smith and another 880 items by Carol Mussman.
Even though their historic worth is equally incalculable, the relics differed in the periods of history to which they belonged.
Abdul Aziz Al-Dayel, head of the retrieved relics department, said SCTH experts are tasked with sorting, photographing and documenting the historic objects before finally enlisting their entry to the commission’s national relics register.
The distinctive pieces will be showcased at the restored relics pavilion in the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, he added.
An SCTH awareness campaign has been set up to promote the importance of returning heritage artifacts and offer financial rewards to those who return items or report them lost or stolen.
Until this very day, more than 53,000 pieces have been recovered from inside and outside the Kingdom