6,000-year-old relic handed to Saudi government

Arab News
Tue, 2017-03-21

RIYADH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH,) received a rare archaeological piece dating to 6,000 years ago from Mohammed bin Halil Al-Balawi of Tabuk. Prince Sultan handed Al-Balawi a reward and a certificate of honor for giving the relic to the commission.
The body’s Board of Directors at the body’s headquarters in Riyadh received the artifact following the conclusion of a meeting on Tuesday, reported Saudi Press Agency.
SPA did not identify the artifact.
The Saudi law stipulates that archaeological pieces are the property of the state and citizens who find them are required to hand them over the CTNH.
Prince Sultan said some honest citizens who find archaeological pieces make the common mistake of digging them out and then hand them over to the SCTH. It is a mistake because 50 percent of the relic’s story is in the place it was found, he said. He added that the correct way to leave the piece in its place and notify only the Antiquities Office that will handle it.
He said keeping found archaeological pieces is a crime punishable by law. He said the SCTH will launch an awareness campaign. He said the SCTH receives nearly 20,000 reports of kept or stolen artifacts.

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