Americans honored for returning Saudi treasures

Artifacts received by the SCTA from Americans who had lived in Saudi Arabia. (AN photo)

JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Monday 31 December 2012

Seven US citizens have taken the initiative to return a number of Saudi artifacts, which they possessed for decades and were of great value, to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA).

The Americans were copiously honored by Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTA president, at the opening ceremony of the three-month-long exhibition “Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, which was opened on Nov. 15.

The citizens who returned the artifacts are “Sons of Aramco”, said Janet Smith, wife of the US Ambassador to the Kingdom James Smith. “They were born and lived in the Kingdom with their parents, who were working for Saudi Aramco, and are now part of the Alumni Association Aramco families and retirees, which includes people between the ages of 5-90 years,” she said.

Barbara Denis Martin, one of the honorees, said that she was born in the Kingdom and lived there until she was 20, so she considers it to be her second homeland.

“When I was a child, I used to go camping with my family out of the urban area. The desert was fascinating with its wild flora and fauna. Moreover, there were wide ranges of thousand-year pottery spread. We used to spend hours exploring, and managed to find many artifacts that emerged due to wind erosion. We could gather a collection of 60-70 pottery and glass pieces, some intact, others shriveled. We were aware of their archaeological value, but they wouldn’t be given much appreciation by nationals back then, so we kept them at our homes. Years later, we went back to America and took them to boastfully show them in our America-based houses,” Martin declared.

READ MORE HERE:

http://www.arabnews.com/americans-honored-returning-saudi-treasures

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