National Museum showcases rich heritage of Oman
December 14, 2015 | 2:06 PM
by Times News Service/ONA

Muscat: His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, on Monday patronised over the opening ceremony of the National Museum in the Governorate of Muscat.

The opening of the museum coincides with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the 45th Glorious National Day. Sayyid Fahd unveiled the plaque at the main entrance declaring open the National Museum. Entry ticket no. “1” was issued to Sayyid Fahd.

Sayyid Fahd said the National Museum is a source of pride and one of the major achievements made during the blessed era of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said , who attaches great care to history, culture and heritage in this country. “Oman is very rich in history and heritage and it is our duty to transfer them to our sons because they play an important role in our daily life in this country,” he added.

The entrance fees for Omanis and residents in Oman are OMR1, and OMR5 for tourists.

The National Museum was established as per the Royal Decree No. (62/2013) issued on Muharram 16, 1435 AH corresponding to November 20, 2013 to be a significant project tasked with preserving the Omani heritage and material and non-material collectables of all manifestations of the history, culture and arts of the Sultanate, in a form that highlights the cultural, historical and cultural dimensions of the Sultanate.

National Museum aims to preserve the components of Omani cultural heritage by supporting research and scientific and historical studies, and plans for the conservation, in addition to education and community outreach, which is achieved through the Learning Center, which provides excellent educational services for all visitors and different age groups especially for children and students, as well as provision of services to visitors and special groups.

National Museum hosts the first Museum Education Centre in the Sultanate and the first facilities for the preventive conservation, which are designed according to the standards of the International Council of Museums.

“Children and people with special needs can access the museum for free,” said Khawla Al Habsi, a supervisor at the National Museum while adding that the museum features advanced facilities for people with special needs, including people with visual and physical challenges, by employing the language of symbols (Braille) in Arabic as part of the museum’s open store system where a visitor can see live the stages of the archaeological artefacts.

National Museum is the first public building in the Sultanate that includes advanced facilities for people with special needs, including the blind and persons with physical disability by using Braille language in Arabic, and open display for direct interaction with its contents.

This is the first museum in the Middle East that uses Braille language in Arabic in the context of the Arab interpretation of museum and open storage system. The construction area of the museum is 13.700 square metres of which 4,000 square metres area is dedicated to 15 fixed display halls, including the Earth and Man Hall, Maritime History Hall, Hall of Arms, Hall of Civilizational Achievements, Aflaj Hall, Currency Hall, Prehistory Hall, Hall of Oman and the Outside World, Hall of Greatness of Islam, and Renaissance Hall along with a hall dedicated to temporary exhibition, which has been designed in accordance with the international regulations and standards used for this kind of facilities.

The museum contains more than 7,000 collectables distributed into various fixed display halls.

Sayyid Fahd, their highnesses, ministers and advisers toured the halls of the museum during which they were briefed by the museum staff. A documentary titled “Oman: Pearl of Orient in the Land of Hope”, was screened in the audio-visual presentations hall using HD technology.

Oman aspires through this museum to assume its prestigious position in the field of museum industry and keep pace with the technical and technological developments in the museums sector by adopting the best standards and techniques used in the field of museum management.

The museum will have its own website to allow researchers and scholars read the available research and studies and get acquainted with these items.

The museum, in comparison to similar projects in the region, has its roots in Omani history and stems from the soil of this country. It specializes in Omani cultural heritage through the ages as the exhibits are either Omani in origin or related to Oman.

Between 2010 and 2014, the museum invited 30 experts and scholars from within and outside and was assisted by 21 archaeological missions for the preparation of the contents of the museum.

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