Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Dimension
In Trinity Term, the Centre invited HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of Saudi Arabia, to deliver a lecture on ‘Saudi Arabia’s Heritage’.
Having noted the history of cultural exchange between Oxford and Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan emphasized the increasingly active role that the Kingdom was playing in international affairs. Arguing that this desire to participate at a global level was inherent in the long tradition of trade and exchange that has existed in the port towns of the Arabian Peninsula, he suggested that, despite widely held impressions, Saudi Arabia had never been completely isolated from the influence of surrounding civilizations.
It is of vital cultural importance to the government of Saudi Arabia to preserve the unique cultural artefacts that the country contains. He argued that the recent discoveries of ancient towns and cities have provided new insight into the life of the people who once lived in the region. Understanding and investing in this history was a priority for the Kingdom, he said.
After the lecture Prince Sultan bin Salman toured the Centre’s new building. The Director then hosted a dinner in his honour at Rhodes House. Distinguished guests from local and national cultural organizations attended the dinner, as did government officials.