New Delhi, S Sep 20 (IANS) The princess of Saudi Arabia, Adela Bint Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, has discussed the possibility of sharing Indian experience and expertise in excavation and exploration of archaeological heritage in her country with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during her six-day visit to India.
"Saudi Arabia wants India to help it decipher epigraphs- old inscriptions, develop museums, archives and share skills in conservation of monuments," Gautam Sengupta, director-general of Archaeological Survey of India, told IANS.
Sengupta said "many of the ancient structures in Saudi Arabia are built of mud-brick like the Harappan sites and her country wanted Indian expertise to conserve the relics". In countries like India and Saudi Arabia, "where there is abundant sunlight, fired brick is much more stable", he said.
The Saudi Arabian princess, daughter of the reining monarch, King Abdullah, who is leading a delegation to India on a visit since Tuesday, met senior ASI officials for more than an hour Wednesday in what is being described as the first-ever discussion of cultural issues between the two countries.
"We also discussed the idea of exchanging over scientific publication and information about what is happening in two countries. Saudi Arabia is keen to host a photo exhibition of its archaeological discoveries and cultural initiatives in the Indian capital - along with screenings of films and lectures by scholars," the ASI official said.
But the discussions were "preliminary and exploratory", Sen Gupta said.
The princess also visited the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Naional Museum and the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum. She will also be visiting Agra before returning home.