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French Citizen Returns Antique to Saudi Arabia

French Citizen Returns Antique to Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 19 September, 2019 - 05:15
A man stands at the site of Dadan, near the city of al-Ula, Saudi Arabia January 26, 2019. (Reuters)

In coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom in UNESCO, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has retrieved an antique from a French citizen who worked in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s.

The antique is a stone tablet with ancient Arabic inscription from the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of SCTH Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb hailed Jacque Borlats for his cooperation with the SCTH in returning the antique. He had taken it with him to France.

Deputy Chairman of the SCTH for Antiquities and Museums Sector Rustum Al-Kubeisi lauded Borlats' cooperation in returning the tablet, which belongs to the civilizations of the northwestern part of the Kingdom.

Retrieving this important, ancient antique is yet another accomplishment of the SCTH in retrieving national antiques from within and outside the Kingdom. Fifty-four pieces have been returned, Al-Kubeisi said.

Director General of the General Administration for Registration and Protection of Antiquities in the Sector Dr. Naif Al-Qanoor said retrieving antiques is part of efforts to safeguard the Kingdom’s cultural heritage and history.

Borlats said that he was living in Tabuk 40 years ago when he took the tablet.

He explained that, at the time, there were companies working at the site, cutting rocks into big blocks and removing them from the location. He discovered the tablet and took it for safekeeping wit the intention of eventually returning it to Saudi Arabia.

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