Muscat: Oman Cultural Complex, a project whose construction was launched by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Sunday, will serve as an added civilizational accomplishment and a major institutional edifice of modern Oman.
This complex, which will comprise the buildings of three main institutions in one installation, will serve as a lively space allocated for the collection, conservation and presentation of arts and cultural, modern and historical components of the Sultanate of Oman.
The complex will house the buildings of the National Theatre, the National Library and the National Records and Archives Authority, in addition to eight other facilities.
The complex will be set up to the tune of RO 147.8 million on a land plot of 400,000 sqm, where the buildings will occupy an area of 80,200 sqm.
The complex will promote cultural, literary, theatrical and research activities. It will enhance the national memory of the Sultanate of Oman’s history and modern accomplishments.
The compound will include the National Theatre, the National Library, Children’s Public Library, the House of Arts, the House of Cinema, the Literary Forum, the National Records and Archives Authority and galleries of modern arts, in addition to restaurants, cafeterias and a public park.
The objectives of the complex include advancing cultural and literary action, expanding the scope of the ministry’s plans and activities and facilitating the implementation of the cultural strategy on serving the community.
The complex will supervise and follow up government and private cultural centres and institutions. It will help build capacities and enable the institutions to perform their roles with efficiency and develop their plans and programmes in governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate of Oman. It will also provide services for researchers and students through two institutions: the National Records and Archives Authority and the National Library.
The National Library at the Complex will be set up on an area of 23,500 sqm. It will accommodate literary and intellectual produce, devise specifications and criteria, collect data, gather about one million books and exchange information locally and internationally. The Library will also boost the capacity of privately-owned bookshops and provide them with expertise.
The National Theatre will be constructed on an area of 16,500 sqm and its auditorium will provide space for 1,000 seats. The Theatre will promote plans and programmes capable of bringing about a major shift in theatrical practice. It will enhance the role of theatre locally, regionally and internationally. It will also serve as a training institution for Omani youth.
The National Theatre will incorporate theatrical activity to cover student activities and study curricula. Acting in coordination with other departments concerned, the institution will contribute the follow-up of theatrical activities and make the theatre a useful instrument in serving government programmes and goals. This includes spreading public awareness and hosting local and international theatre festivals.
The building of the House of Arts will occupy an area of 3,500 sqm. The institution will work to develop and improve the capabilities of young people, notably by studying the requirements for the advancement of folklore, developing the capabilities of young people in the field of modern arts, organizing exhibitions and programme in the field of music and providing support to talents in this field.
The Literary Forum, whose building will come up on an area of 3,500 sqm, will contribute to the advancement of literary aspects, including holding of seminars, issuing books authored by member individual and organizations.
The National Records and Archives Authority (NRAA), whose building will occupy and area of 22,500 sqm, will focus on demonstrating cultural and historical aspects of the Sultanate of Oman. This is envisaged through the encouragement of research and intellectual creativity and the documentation of achievements of ministries and other institutions of the State, as well as society’s contribution to the national memory of Oman.
Among other objectives, the NRAA seeks to enrich educational curricula of general education and higher education. It will develop a modern system for the management of electronic records by implementing Oman’s largest digital transition project codenamed “Access” (“Wusool”) system.
The NRAA will also lend support to historical research and studies through its own publications, which aim to foster national values and cultural identity. Towards this objective, the NRAA will draft plans and programmes, organize documentary exhibitions to showcase scholarly research, as well as to intellectual, cultural, economic, social and other publications.