Oman, Switzerland sign pact to study meteorites

Energy Tuesday 11/February/2020 21:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman, Switzerland sign pact to study meteorites

Muscat: The Ministry of Heritage and Culture yesterday signed an agreement with Natural History Institute of Bern, Switzerland, to survey, document and study meteorites.
The agreement was signed by Heritage Undersecretary Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrooqi, while Beda Hofmann, Head of Earth Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Bern, signed the agreement on behalf of the Swiss side.
Dr. Ali bin Farah Al Kathiri, Consultant in the field of meteorites at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, said that the agreement is an extension of cooperation between the Swiss team of researchers and its Omani counterpart operating in meteorites research since 2011, with support from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
He pointed out that the project comes after the transfer of the specialty of geological heritage, under Royal decree, to the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.
The meteorites unearthed in cooperation with the Omani-Swiss team were divided into large pieces that remain in the Sultanate, while portions of these have been sent to Switzerland for further study, said Al Katheri, noting that the Ministry is in the process of installing cameras to observe the sky in some areas with a view to detecting any meteorites and tackle them as soon as they fall in Omani territories and conduct studies on them.
Meanwhile, Rahma bint Qassim Al Farsi, Director of Museums at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, said that the Ministry will organise a special exhibition at the National Museum, mainly to benefit students of schools, colleges and universities in Oman. She added that lectures will be delivered by specialists on the sidelines of the exhibition.