Muscat: The National Museum on Saturday inaugurated the exhibition 'Syria: the Cradle of Civilisations' in cooperation with the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus, and inaugurated the 'Loaned Artefacts from the Republic of India' in the Museum’s Oman and the World Gallery in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Muscat.
The exhibition was inaugurated under the patronage of Her Highness Sayyida Mona bint Fahd Al Said, Assistant President of Sultan Qaboos University for International Cooperation and Deputy of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum, in the presence of Dr. Lubana Mushawah, Minister of Culture of the Syria, Amit Narang, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman, and a number of people interested in cultural and museum affairs.
The inauguration ceremony included a speech by E. Jamal bin Hassan al-Mousawi, Secretary-General of the National Museum, and. Dr. Labana Mushawah, Minister of Culture of Syria, followed by the speech of Amit Narang, Ambassador the Republic of India to the Sultanate of Oman.
After the inauguration, an official session of talks was held between the Sultanate of Oman and the Ministry of Culture of Syria, during which bilateral cooperation between the two countries were discussed, emphasising the efforts to develop relation in cultural and museum fields and to strengthen bilateral relations between the two sides. The Sultanate of Oman`s side was represented by Her Highness Sayyida Dr. Mona bint Fahd Al-Said, Jamal bin Hassan Al-Moosawi, and a number of officials of the National Museum. The Syrian side was represented by Dr. Labana Mushawah, and Idris Maya, Ambassador of Syria, and. Muhammad Nazir Awad, Director General of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, and a number of the delegation accompanying it.
Jamal bin Hassan Al-Moosawi, Secretary-General of the National Museum, said: Preserving the Syrian heritage under the current exceptional circumstances constitutes an urgent necessity that should not be postponed because of the important role that the cultural factor plays in social reconstruction and sensing the identity. This ancient heritage is a civilisational heritage that belongs to all of humanity, transcending the borders of Syria because of its exceptional historical, artistic, aesthetic and significance dimensions.
Jamal al-Moosawi added:” Within the framework of international cooperation and preservation of tangible heritage, and based on the agreement concluded in (2019 CE) on a temporary loan of museum artefacts from the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus, which were damaged during the period of the Syrian crisis for the purposes of preservation, and from the end of the year (2020) until the middle of the year (2021), (201) museum pieces were received in two batches, most notably the unique Palmyrene sculptures, in addition to artefacts dating back to the Paleolithic period - pre-pottery A, the Bronze Age, the Umayyad Caliphate period, the Ayyubid period, the Mamluk period, and the Ottoman period. In the first half of the year (2020), (9) Palmyra statues was preserved. Then in the first quarter of (2022), the Conservation and Preservation team at the National Museum completed the restoration of (195) pieces of Syrian artefacts and the (9) Palmayrene statues. As the artefacts gone through a number of stages in the conservation and preservation process, starting with sterilization, documentation and photography, and ending with restoration operations, finally, the team’s efforts were crowned with success.
For her part, Dr. Labana Mushawah, said: The exhibition "Syria: Cradle of Civilizations" is complementary to the many and continuous efforts of the Omani and Syrian parties, which began more than two years ago in lending the National Museum in the Sultanate of Oman a number of Syrian artifacts that are well known The cultural heritage of Syria exceeds 175 pieces, many of them have been restored, preserved and preserved in the National Museum.
The National Museum in the Oman and the World Gallery presents artefacts loaned from the Republic of India. A book entitled “Tarikh-i-Kesari” that presents information on the history of Oman and Zanzibar, loaned from the National Museum in New Delhi, and an artwork of al-Mirani Fort in Muscat, loaned from the National Museum of Modern Art in New Delhi. The collection will be on display to all visitors until 30th June 2022.
Amit Narang said: "The common historical ties between the peoples of the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of India extend over thousands of years, and the artefacts loaned from India reflect this common past and the continuous cooperation between the two countries. This inauguration is the first step after the pandemic. We look forward to more similar cooperation opportunities in the future, as there is a lot that can be shared between the two countries, not only historically but also culturally. We aspire to cooperate with the National Museum in eastablishing more exhibitions of many arts from India.
The book "Tarikh-i-Kesari “ by Muhammad Akbar Ali Khan is a rare visual and written document on the era of the Princely states in India, with miniatures of their founders or current rulers, in addition to the rulers whose states had close relations with the British Raj.
The book was issued on 1st January 1877, in Urdu and Hindi languages, with the support of "Anjamen Islamic Delhi" or the General Islamic Gathering, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's assumption of the title "Empress of India", which was announced in "Durbar Delhi" or the Court Gathering in Delhi.
The publication deals with the biographies of the rulers, Kings and Princes, including Sultan Thuwainibin Said al- Busaidi (ruled: 56-1866 CE), and Sultan Barghash bin Said al-Busaidi (ruled: 70-1888 CE), including two unique miniature paintings of the two sultans, enumerating their exploits and their titles. It also reviews a detailed summary of Muscat and Zanzibar and their geographical location, sources of income for the two countries, and data about their armies. The book reported that the British government allocated 21 gun-salute as a respect and a gesture of welcome to the Sultan of Muscat, Oman and the Sultan of Zanzibar, as they are independent rulers of two fully sovereign states. According to what came in this book, which confirms the long-standing history of the Omani political entity in its two parts Sultan Thuwaini bin Said al-Busaidi is the only ruler in the Arabian Peninsula who has enjoyed these ceremonies without anyone else, according to what is stated in this book, which confirms the long-standing history of the Omani political entity in its two parts.
As for the oil painting, it embodies a view of al-Mirani Fort in Muscat by the British artist Thomas Daniel, which dates back to the period of the al-Busaid dynasty (1229 AH/1814 CE). The painting is on loan from the National Museum of Modern Art in New Delhi (Republic of India).