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Museum doors open to all for free today

Admission to the National Museum will be free of cost on Thursday as part of the International Museum Day celebrated annually on May 18.

The Sultanate’s flagship museum, which houses over 12,500 artefacts dating back to prehistoric times, will be open between 10 am and 5 pm and entry would be free, museum director Jamal Moosawi told Oman Tribune.

Besides the free admission, the museum authorities had also made arrangements for visitors to have free-guided tours. Targeting not just nationals and expatriates, but tourists as well, the guided-tours will be in Arabic, English and German.

Moosawi said that besides all the usual stuff, the museum has also organised several special activities for children and their families on this important day.

The museum also has plans to engage with the public over social media. “We are planning some competitions both on Twitter and Instagram,” he added.

The National Museum’s majestic building with its stately while façade is built on an area of 14,000 sqm that includes 4,000 sqm of exhibition space dedicated to its permanent collection.

To mark the day, a theme-based celebration was organised on Wednesday at the Bait al Zubair Museum on `Museums and History of Conflicts: A History of What is Not Said in Museums’.

At a workshop organised on the occasion, experts presented a number of papers covering a wide range of topic that included ‘manuscripts and risks’, ‘the Sultanate’s experience in submerged antiquities’, ‘cultural property and efforts to preserve it’ and ‘efforts and challenges in the preservation of archaeological sites’. There was also a presentation on ‘laws and conventions concerned with the protection of material heritage’.

On the initiatives of the International Council of Museums, the International Museum Day is being observed to raise awareness about how important museums are in the development of society. Last year, the day was celebrated in more than 35,000 museums across 145 countries.

Oman Tribune