MUSCAT: The National Museum on Saturday inaugurated the exhibition "Syria: the Cradle of Civilisations” in cooperation with the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus.
The National Museum also inaugurated the "Loaned Artefacts from the Republic of India” in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Muscat, under the auspices of HH Sayyida Mona bint Fahd al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) for International Cooperation and Deputy of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum.
Present at the inauguration ceremony were Dr Lubana Mushawah, Minister of Culture of the Syrian Arab Republic, Amit Narang, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Sultanate of Oman, officials and people interested in cultural and museum affairs.
After the inauguration, an official session of talks was held between the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman and the Ministry of Culture of the Syrian Arab Republic, during which aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries were discussed. Emphasis was also laid on the efforts of the two sides to develop the cultural and museum fields and strengthen bilateral relations between the two sides in a manner that contributes to achieving museum leadership.
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 due to 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.”
The exhibition "Syria: Cradle of Civilisations" presents the first results of the humanitarian initiative adopted and sponsored by the National Museum in Oman in relation to the conservation and preservation of the Syrian cultural heritage that was damaged during the years of the crisis. The aforementioned initiative is the result of bilateral cooperation between the National Museum in Oman and the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus, which dates back to 2018.
The exhibition illustrates a number of selected museum artefacts, including Roman and Byzantine copper coins and other coins dating back to the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman caliphates, stone statues, jars, pottery, arrowheads, and stone and bronze artefacts, all dating back to different eras and periods of time, namely; The Old and New Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the Umayyad Caliphate Era, the Abbasid Caliphate Era, the Ayyubid State Era, the Mamluk Era, and the Ottoman Caliphate Era.
ARTEFACTS FROM INDIA
The National Museum in 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 30 June 2022. Amit Narang, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Sultanate of Oman, said: "The common historical ties between the peoples of the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of India extend over thousands of years. 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 establishing 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 1 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 Thuwaini bin Said al Busaidy (ruled: 56-1866 CE), and Sultan Barghash bin Said al Busaidy (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 says that the British government gave 21 gun-salute as a mark of respect and 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 Busaidy 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). - ONA