Acclaimed exhibition- “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia” will explore the history of the Arabian Peninsula through archaeological and cultural artefacts from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and in partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Louvre Abu Dhabi hosts “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia”, the second international exhibition in the museum’s new cultural season.
The exhibition will open on 8th November and explore the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula through archaeological and cultural artefacts, including a selection of rare pieces from the United Arab Emirates.
The exhibition was conceived through cooperation between SCTH and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it was first exhibited in 2010. It is one of the most renowned Saudi exhibitions on a global scale, introducing Arabia’s cultural and historical heritage to over five million visitors worldwide. The exhibition has presented 14 acclaimed editions throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, sharing the story of this unique region with audiences around the world, before coming to Louvre Abu Dhabi where it will be enriched by selected pieces from the UAE.
“Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia” explores five chapters in the history of the Arabian Peninsula, spanning early prehistoric settlements; maritime exploration; caravan trading routes that linked the region with Asia, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean; routes of holy pilgrimage emerging in the 7th century CE; and the social and economic developments between the 14th and 16th centuries that set the stage for the modern day region.
The expanded exhibition to be displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi is curated by Mr. Omar, Dr. Noujaim, and Noëmi Daucé, Chief Curator for Archaeology at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Louvre Abu Dhabi is assisted by two scientific advisors from the Musée du Louvre: Marianne Cotty from the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and Carine Juvin from the Department of Islamic Art.
For the first time, the exhibition will feature important archaeological pieces from the United Arab Emirates, including a pearl found in Umm Al Quwain dating from 5500-5300 BCE (loaned by Umm Al Quwain Museum); a stone decorated with a wild camel from the late 3rd millennium BCE (loaned by Al Ain Museum), a remarkable 1st millennium BCE pieces from Saruq al Hadid (loaned by Dubai Municipality), as well as objects from Julfar (loaned by the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah).
These will be displayed alongside significant artefacts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including outstanding funerary Neolithic stela, a 3rd-century BCE bronze statue head (loaned by the Department of Archaeology at King Saud University); a 1st-century BCE gold funerary mask from Eastern Province (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh), 9th-century engraved steles (loaned by King Fahad National Library); 4th-millennium BCE Anthropomorphic stele (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh); a door of the Kaaba dating to 1355 (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh), and a key of the Kaaba (loaned by the Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre).
Alongside the exhibition opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi will organise a three-day celebration featuring a performance called “_On the Roads of Arabia_” a creation from music, dances and poetry by 80 artists from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, India, Indonesia and China with a contemporary, calligraphic street art drawing designed by Tunisian artist Koom. The cultural program accompanying _Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia_ will also feature film screenings selected by Hind Mezaina, curatorial talks, as well as a range of educational workshops and guided tours related to the exhibition.
Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum ticket. Visitors can tour the exhibition through a multimedia guide that is available in Arabic, English, and French.