Museums of Oman, Nepal ink deal

MUSCAT, DEC 10 – National Museum of Oman has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Museum of Nepal that would bring in temporary exhibits between the two nations — one country that is known for its maritime history and the other a landlocked land with well preserved heritage enveloped by the Himalayas. Yet both nations have been part of ancient trade routes. The agreement was signed between Jamal bin Hassan al Mousawi, Director General of the National Museum of Oman and the Chief of the National Museum of Nepal, Jayaram Shrestha.
The MoU is expected to bring cooperation between the two museums and sharing of the expertise between the two countries. During his presentation, the chief of National Museum of Nepal had explained that Nepal is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious and cultural synchronised country.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer, the Chief of the National Museum of Nepal, Jayaram Shrestha explained that the agreement for collaboration in the field of culture and museums is a great opportunity. “There are important aspects in the MoU — one of them is to collaborate and exchange ideas, knowledge, practice and skills. Another major aspect is exchange of exhibitions — from Nepal to Oman and from Oman to Nepal. We could explore our cultures at international level because to staying confined to our own nation provides no meaning. This is the period of technology and accordingly we are planning to bring exhibit from Nepal to Oman and then from Oman to Nepal.”
The National Museum of Nepal has 18 galleries showcasing various themes of artifacts.
“The National Museum of Oman is one of the important museums in Asia with important historical collection. On the basis of this MoU, we should establish the principles of collective work between the countries and develop cultural and museum activities. It would be interesting for people of Nepal to understand a culture that has deserts and how the physical features of a land have an impact on the lifestyle and culture of the community. The temporary exhibition can be expected in 2021, but before that we will explore training.”
One of the objectives of the museum is to increase working partnership with regional museums, universities, research centres and cultural organisations as well as develop museum as a tourist destination.
He added, “Nepal is a small country but we have 125 ethnic groups as well as 123 spoken languages. In this sense Nepal is a country with rich culture.”
The museum has an extensive collection of artefacts about 28,000 pieces but the earthquake in 2015 damaged the main historical building of the National Museum of Nepal. “The earthquake impact caused the main building to almost collapse. It affected in such a way that all the exhibition galleries collapsed. A lot of artefacts were broken and some of the items are missing. But the experts and the staff of the museum with the help of the army personnel had acted fast to recover and restore. Some galleries are still being restored.”
The National Museum of Nepal is a multipurpose museum and has collection from prehistoric to the historic. The Mustang area that borders with Tibet was prominent in the ancient history for its trade route. But this place is also extremely important for Nepal’s archaeology.
“There were human cave settlements and we discovered ancient archaeological artifacts and Mustang where the people of the ancient days had settled. We have discovered some of the tools they had used and are now in display at the museum,” he explained.
The National Museum of Nepal, located in Kathmandu, was established in 1928 AD and the structure was originally built in early 19th century. It was a residence built and used by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa.