The Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi Celebrates Saudi Arabia’s Civilizations and Masterpieces of Antiquities



Over the course of more than three months, starting November 7, the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi will celebrate Saudi Arabia’s civilizations and a antiquities through hosting  of “Trade to Arabia, Masterpieces of Antiquates in Saudi Arabia across the ages” Exhibition which will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the presence of  Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.

“Trade to Arabia, Master pieces of Antiquates in Saudi Arabia across the ages” Exhibition is one of the most important Saudi international exhibitions that presented the cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula to more than five million visitors from all over the world, by holding the exhibition in the most famous museums in the European, American and Asian cities and capitals of the world. The Exhibition has formed an important and vital opportunity to inform the world of the civilizations of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula, its rich cultural heritage, and cultural and historical elements extended across the ages.

In a word published in the exhibition brochure, Prince Sultan bin Salman affirmed that the exhibition will host its 15th stop, at a sisterly country associated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with fraternal and close ties, as they both share the extended civilizations witnessed in the Arabian Peninsula across the ages.  Afterwards, the Exhibition, organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has hosted a number of world-renowned museums in Europe, America and Asia, and has gained worldwide fame.

He pointed out that since its establishment; Saudi Arabia has taken care of its cultural heritage, and its leader's have endeavoured to highlight this heritage not only at the national level but also for the whole world.  Saudi Arabia, praise be to Allah, has a distinguished position among the countries of the world. God has distinguished Saudi Arabia by making it the Cradle of Islam and the country of the Two Holy Mosques, and bestowing it with remarkable natural and human wealth. In addition to the Kingdom's pioneering and constructive role in international forums politically, economically and humanly, being the cradle of Arabism and Islam and the country of the Two Holy Mosques, and for its cultural depth that dates back to more than one million years. This is confirmed by the archaeological evidence spread throughout Saudi Arabia and reflecting the KSA and states established on its land that contributed to the march of human civilization, in addition to its unique geographical location, which mediates the continents of the world, making it a forum for human civilizations, a bridge for cultural communication and a Crosspoint for trade routes throughout history.

It is noteworthy that the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has organized the exhibition since July 13, 2010, in 14 international stops during which it stopped in the world's most famous museums, and made special exhibitions for a large number of various artefacts of exceptional value for the first time outside Saudi Arabia, and in extension of Saudi Arabia world presence and  its Islamic status by embracing the two Holy Mosques, as well as its economic role and its impact on human relations based on its unique geographic location, which formed a pivotal role in the cultural and economic fields between the East and West. Saudi Arabia also served as a bridge for cultural communication through the ages and between many civilizations of the ancient world. The exhibition included more than 460 artefacts taken from the masterpieces exhibited in the National Museum in the capital Riyadh, and a number of different museums in the KSA. 

Theses pieces demonstrate the period extending from the Palaeolithic period (one million years before the present) to the Saudi Renaissance period. This period passes from the Stone Age, then the period of (Ubaid) (5th millennium BC), the Dilmun period, the Early, Middle and Late Arab Kingdoms, followed by the period of the Prophet and the two Umayyad and Abbasid Eras, and the Medieval and Late Islamic periods, until the unification of Saudi Arabia, and the subsequent significant development and prosperity that is evident in all walks of life, especially in the service of the Two Holy Mosques.

The first stop of the exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum in the French capital, Paris, and was consecutively held at la Caixa Foundation in Barcelona, the Hermitage Museum in Russia, and Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The exhibition was then moved to the United States of America where it was held at Sackler Museum, Washington, followed by Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, then the “Fine Arts” Museum in Huston, followed by the “Nelson Atkins Museum of Art” in Kansas City, and finally at the “Asian Art” Museum in San Francisco. Afterwards, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, may Allah protect himopened the exhibition at the King Abdul Aziz International Cultural Center in Dhahran of Aramco on 1 December 2016, thus permitting launching the exhibition to its new stops in Asia where the exhibition was held at the National Museum in the Chinese capital Beijing, which was held under the patronage of King Salman and President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China concluded its closing ceremony on March 16, 2017.Then, it  was held at the National Museum in South Korea, Seoul, and then the Japanese National Museum in Tokyo, in addition to organizing it at Riyadh National Museum in Riyadh with the exhibitions accompanying the first Saudi Archaeology Convention. 

The exhibition will be held at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as part of mutual exhibitions and activities between the two countries, which have a close fraternal relationship and historical commonalities, in line with the celebration of the UAE of passing one year after the opening of the museum and the “Year of Zayed”, to mark the centennial anniversary of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father who founded the United Arab Emirates.

Jamal Omar, Vice President of Archeology and Museums Department at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in Saudi Arabia, stressed the importance of the exhibition as the two brotherly countries share a special and distinctive relationship, and the cultural integration and historical heritage they share, and that it is the first stop in the Arabian Peninsula outside Saudi Arabia, especially as it highlights the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula as a whole and the ancient roads of trade there, pointing to the direct follow-up from His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the exhibition, in view of the importance and prestige of the United Arab Emirates, its rulers and people for the leadership and people of Saudi Arabia.

He added, “Although the exhibition focuses on Saudi Arabia civilizations, it is concerned with highlighting the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula, which was a forum of civilizations, and a main station for the ancient trade routes as it represented important and main links in the cultural and historical sequence of this strategic region in the world”.

He pointed to the addition of pieces to the exhibition at this stop that reflect some of the living patterns in the common civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula, especially those related to desert, chivalry, camels and falcon hinting and other means of hunting in the desert.