SCTA President: Kingdom is witnessing a qualitative leap in Care for its National Heritage

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA, pointed out that, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant shift in its care for the cultural heritage under the precious patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Crown Prince (May Allah Protect Them).
"The Kingdom is also witnessing a growth of high sense of responsibility on the importance of discovering our antiquities and national heritage, as well as preserving and rehabilitating them. This phase will be crowned by the prospective resolution on "King Abdullah Project for the care of the cultural heritage," added HRH at the opening ceremony of the 6th Conference of Red Sea Antiquities and Heritage, on Sunday, March 17th, in Tabuk.
The conference is organized by SCTA in collaboration with Tabuk University and the University of Exeter in U.K. The opening ceremony was honored by HRH Governor of Tabuk, Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.
"First I would like to thank my older brother, His Royal Highness Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Tabuk region, Chairman of Tabuk Tourism Development Council in Tabuk, who made this occasion possible and the Tabuk University for hosting the conference, and I also like to thank the Governor for honoring this occasion, and thank him for his persistent support to tourism projects and programs in the province, that is contributing to the strengthening of the cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“The event is held in the period in which the Kingdom is witnessing a growing interest in its cultural heritage under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz (may Allah protect them), as well as experiencing a quantum leap in the efforts of care for its cultural heritage, in the context of a growing sense of responsibility on the importance of preserving and rehabilitating our national heritage due  to its importance as a key element of national identity, as well as economic significance.”
"This conference is held while Saudi Arabia is overlooking an important phase of caring of its cultural heritage. Signs of this phase are unfolding in the expectation of approval of the "King Abdullah Project for Caring of the Cultural Heritage", which is considered as strategic and long-term project aiming to preserve the cultural heritage of the Kingdom on the one hand, and making national heritage a daily concern of Saudi society on the other. The project is expected to directly boost the implementation of the strategic plan for tourism development in the Kingdom."
"This event comes in line with the launch of a set of projects by SCTA in a number of archaeological and heritage sites across the Tabuk Province, which are joining many other projects that are carried out by SCTA across different parts of the Kingdom with a view to strengthen the cultural dimension of the Kingdom."
"Several important tracks are followed by SCTA in its efforts to associate Kingdom's heritage and civilization with the citizen and educational programs, like conducting specialized exhibitions nationally and internationally, encouraging and supporting private museums in order to be tributaries of Saudi culture and engaging local community in the heritage preservation and development through financial programs in which the local community takes part, as well as both the private and public sectors, and restoring life to those sites culturally, economically and socially as they form a historical memory linking the new generations and society as a whole, to the past and the present."
"The project of enhancing our cultural dimension includes introducing our antiquities nationally and internationally.  We have already begun touching the great impact made by the exhibition of "Saudi Masterpieces through the ages" which is hosted so far by a number of international major museums in Europe and the United States. The exhibition sent a clear message to more than one million and six hundred thousand visitors, emphasizing the cultural dimension of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its deep rooted heritage."
"One of the most important tracks undertaken by the SCTA in its efforts to promote the cultural dimension of the kingdom, is the recovery of the national antiquities, where SCTA in collaboration with a number of private and public departments and individuals, has managed to recover more than 16000 pieces from abroad in addition to 3000 pieces from inside the Kingdom."
At the end of his speech HRH President of SCTA, expressed his thanks and appreciation to HRH Governor of Tabuk for honoring and patronizing this occasion, in addition to expressing his appreciation to the University of Exeter for its distinguished scientific partnership with SCTA, commending the great cooperation that SCTA had met from the University of Tabuk in the organization and preparation for the conference. HRH also praised the cooperative efforts of the participants in the conference who have arrived from different parts of the world.
Dr. Ali bin Ibrahim Al Ghabban, Vice President, Antiquities and Museums in SCTA and the Head of the Organizing Committee of the Conference, in his speech at the opening ceremony, said, "This conference highlights the extended efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its keenness to care for the heritage of the countries in the region in particular and all the Islamic countries in general. Kingdom's persistent efforts in caring for the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Al Madinah, in addition to Islamic heritage sites, is a testament to its responsibility towards the preservation of the history of this nation and to highlight the glorious past since the dawn of Islam until the present."