'Roads of Arabia' exhibit opens at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History


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A princely presence had the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's personnel all a-flutter Friday night. It was the opening reception for "Roads of Arabia," an exhibit of objects found on ancient trade routes and pilgrimage trails, presented by the museum and the American Middle East Institute. His royal highness Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, in his role as chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, walked the exhibit with Gov. Tom Corbett. Before the tour, the prince gave out presents of appreciation to hosts Simin Curtis, CEO of AMEI, and Ann Metzger, the museum's interim director, as well as natural history board chair Jack Barbour, Carnegie Museum's board chair Lee Foster and Cheryl Sobas from the Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Galleries. The Freer/Sackler Galleries organized the exhibit. The only drawback to the evening was the inordinately long wait for dinner. Guests sat patiently in the Music Hall foyer waiting for the prince, who had the governor so captivated by the exhibit that the repast of carved rack of lamb and grilled salmon, along with remarks by Saudi Ambassador Adel A. Al-Jubeir, the governor and the prince, were delayed by more than an hour. It seemed it took as long to get started as it did to excavate the treasures. Next time dinner first, then tour.

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