Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the Secretary General of the Higher
Tourism Commission and Chairman of the National Heritage Foundation,
graced here on Sunday evening a ceremony to celebrate the return of
Saudi antiquities from Harvard University.
On arrival at the venue of the
ceremony, Prince Sultan bin Salman was welcomed by the Minister of
Education, Dr Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Rashid and a number of senior
officials. The ceremony was organized by the Ministry of Education.
Speaking on the occasion, the
Education Undersecretary for Antiquities and Museums, Saad Al-Rashid,
highlighted the great efforts exerted by Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz,
the Governor of Riyadh region, for the establishment of the King Abdul
Aziz Historical Center.
'Tonight, we celebrate the return of
a collection of antiquities to their homeland from Harvard University
after a period of more than 30 years,' Al-Rashid said.
Al-Rashid said Thomas Burger, a
geologist who had earlier worked in the Kingdom as the first President
of the Aramco Company, collected the Saudi antiquities.
Al-Rashid expressed appreciation for
the efforts exerted by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Prince
Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Ambassador to Italy and
Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Ambassador to the
US, for the return of these pieces to the Kingdom. He expressed
appreciation for the efforts exerted by Harvard University, the
pioneering university in the fields of anthropology and antiquities
Al-Rashid thanked the members of the
family of Thomas Burger, who have preserved these pieces and brought
them back to the Kingdom. He highlighted the importance of these
antiquities in authenticating the history of the Kingdom of Saudi
For his part, the former Head of the
Department of Historical Documents at Harvard University, Karny Edward
Javin, commended the exhibits, which are displayed at the King Abdul
Aziz Historical Centre. He underscored the importance of antiquities
as they enrich the national history and heritage.
Prince Sultan bin Salman said the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, was and still is a
concourse for civilizations. He praised the noble gesture of the
Burger family in returning the pieces to Saudi Arabia: 'The family has
delivered 14 important antique pieces that shed light on important
historical eras of the Kingdom,' said Prince Sultan bin Salman.
In a press statement after the
ceremony, Prince Sultan bin Salman said the Higher Tourism Commission
would try to bring back the remaining Saudi antiquities which are
still in the hands of the former employees of Aramco. He lauded the
efforts exerted by Harvard University in this area.
The ceremony was attended by Prince
Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Ambassador to Italy, a
number of accredited ambassadors to the Kingdom and senior officials.