National Museum organises cultural evening in Russia

Oman Tuesday 11/June/2024 17:11 PM
National Museum organises cultural evening in Russia

St. Petersburg: The National Museum organised a cultural evening at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The event, titled “Omani Cultural Evening,” was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Moscow, and the State Hermitage Museum.

This event was part of Oman participation as the guest of honour at the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which took place from June 5 to 8.

This cultural event is part of the “Oman Hall” initiative, inaugurated at the Hermitage Museum in 2020. The second edition of the Oman Hall, titled “The Omani Empire: Asia and Africa,” inaugurated in December 2023.

The Omani delegation was led by Qais Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion. On the Russian side, it was headed by Maxim Gennadievich Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

In his speech, Jamal Hassan Al Moosawi, Secretary General of the National Museum, stated, “The relationship between the National Museum and the State Hermitage Museum goes beyond strategic cooperation to true friendship.” He added that this event is part of the “Oman Hall” initiative, highlighting the second edition’s theme, “The Omani Empire: Asia and Africa.”

Al Moosawi emphasised that this cultural event showcases positive aspects of human experiences in a multipolar world, a theme reflecting the equitable and fair development opportunities for nations and peoples, which is the main theme of the 27th forum.

The evening included performances by the Omani musical group “Skills,” led by Yusuf Said Al Foori.

Guests also toured the “Oman Hall” and viewed the “Omani Empire: Asia and Africa” exhibition, which depicts the history of the Omani Empire in both Asia and Africa. It illustrates the Omanis’ role in expelling the Portuguese from East Africa and establishing the vast Omani Empire, highlighting Omani cultural influences in East Africa across social, religious, political, economic, and architectural fields.

The exhibition includes 28 artefacts reflecting the history of the Omani Empire in both Asia and Africa. Notable artefacts on display include artefacts from the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, as well as artefacts related to the Russian Federation, such as a curved single edged sword “Kittarah” dating back to al-Busaid dynasty between the two centuries (11-13 AH/17-19 CE), believed to be used in duels aboard Omani Empire fleets. Other items include a Saidi dagger owned by Sultan Hamoud bin Mohammed al-Busaidi from the late 19th century, a chair from the 18th century (Oman and Zanzibar), and jewellery and garments attributed to Sayyida Salma bint Said al-Busaidi (1844–1924), who wrote her notable autobiography in German, titled “Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar.”

During the international economic forum, a new agreement was signed with the State Hermitage Museum to launch the second “Hermitage Corner” exhibition at the National Museum in October. This exhibition will focus on political, diplomatic, economic, and cultural exchanges between the Central Asian khanates and the Russian imperial court in St. Petersburg.

The State Hermitage Museum is known for its vast complex of ten buildings, including the Winter Palace and other historic structures. The museum’s collection features artefacts from Eastern Europe, Russia, Greek and Roman civilisations, the Near and Far East, and Central Asian civilisations. It includes ancient to modern coins, weapons from Western Europe and the Middle East, and numerous archaeological finds.

The Hermitage employs 2,500 people, including about 250 art and archaeology experts, and attracts approximately 5.3 million visitors annually. It houses over 17,000 paintings, 12,000 sculptures, more than a million coins and medals, over 800,000 archaeological artefacts, around 360,000 applied arts pieces, and more than 600,000 graphic artworks.

The event was attended by Hamood Salim Al Towaiya, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the Russian Federation; Faisal Abdullah Al Rawas, Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Azzan Qasim Al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism; Eng. Khamis Mohammed Al Shamakhi, Undersecretary for Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology; and Professor Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum, along with members of the diplomatic corps and cultural and museum enthusiasts.

It is worth mentioning that the National Museum has adopted the “Oman Hall” initiative as part of cultural cooperation by establishing exhibitions that represent the Sultanate of Oman in museums and cultural institutions around the world.

These international exhibitions are an opportunity to enhance cultural understanding and communication between the Sultanate of Oman and other countries, providing a comprehensive view of Oman’s history and present. -ONA