The Prime Minister, Dr. Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtoor, participated in the speech ceremony held by the Ministry of Culture – represented by the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums – on the occasion of International Museum Day, March 18, and the temporary exhibition that was held on the occasion.
The Prime Minister delivered a speech in which he expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Culture and the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums for organizing the festive event, which reminds Yemeni citizens and officials of their duty and great responsibility in preserving the antiquities of their homeland, which are subject to neglect, looting and smuggling.
He highly valued every work, small or large, in the field of caring for the history of Yemen and preserving its great historical heritage. He pointed to the importance of continuous awareness through various media, cultural, extension and educational platforms to raise public awareness about the importance of Yemeni antiquities and cultural and civilizational heritage, and to deal with high responsibility with these aspects.
Dr. Bin Habtoor explained that “human history passed through Yemen – if it did not start from it – and therefore left us this legacy that we see today in every region of Greater Yemen.”
He said, “Our ancestors made Sabaean and Himyarite history hundreds of years before Islam, and they are proud of their great and pivotal role in consolidating the foundations of Islam and spreading it to the corners of the earth. The remains of Yemeni leaders are still present today in the east and west of the land.”
He added, “Many fair scholars are trying today to return history to Yemen as the land of prophets, messages and religions, and the source of ancient human civilizations.”
And the Prime Minister continued: “Every Yemeni should have a sense of pride and pride in the history of his country and its rich heritage, because without that, we will turn into a people who neglect and sell their antiquities and history to others.”
He noted the antiquities that were recovered from Europe and America, which were looted, smuggled and sold in open auctions, which represent a small part of what is abroad.
Dr. Bin Habtoor pointed out that the countries of the world, especially the European ones, are very proud of their history and antiquities, even if they are small in size, and they hold seminars and give lectures to shed light on them and enhance the general feeling among their people of their importance. Proceeding from man’s search for his own depth, stressing that preserving history is preserving the present and future of the nation.
While the head of the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums, Abbad Al-Hayal, and the Secretary-General of the National Museum, Fouad Ishak, delivered two speeches indicating that the celebration of International Museum Day comes in the context of visiting awareness of the importance of museums and their work in educating societies as they are the living memory of peoples.
They touched on the damage suffered by museums as a result of the aggression that deliberately targeted archaeological and historical sites and monuments with the aim of sabotaging and destroying cultural and historical evidence with the aim of obliterating the Yemeni faith identity.
He noted the importance of museums in defining the civilization of peoples, in addition to their role in providing confirmed knowledge, evidence and evidence of historical events through the material archaeological pieces and evidence kept by these museums.
In addition, the Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Abdullah Al-Kibsi, and the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Obaid bin Dabi’, reviewed the contents of the temporary exhibition, which included photographs of Yemeni antiquities. Some of them were looted and displayed in exhibitions and auctions abroad, in addition to stone monuments inscribed with drawings and writings.
The Prime Minister visited archaeological exhibits in the National Museum: 800 pieces were smuggled abroad, and were recovered from abroad between 2001-2023 AD.
During his visit to the museum, he inspected the extent of the damage to the museum. As a result of the aggression coalition raids, and the siege on the capital, Sana’a, specifically the areas adjacent to the building.