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National Museum Finishes Restoring Oman Photographs Album




Muscat 7 Jun (ONA) ---The National Museum recently finished restoring an album of photographs of Oman, Iraq and India that Louis Maguire presented, the United States Consul in Muscat, to Lit. Colonel S. B. Miles, the British Political Agent in the Gulf, on 6 September 1885 CE.


This project restored and preserved a photo album that contains images historically significant to Oman, including the second-oldest known photograph of Muscat, photos from inside the U.S. Consulate at the time, and the oldest known photo of Mattrah. Not only important to Oman, but these significant photos also illustrate the long, historical ties between Oman and the United States. The restoration of these critical shared memories between the two countries is one of only three projects in the Middle East in 2019 C.E.


Furthermore, the ECA has awarded the National Museum with one of its coveted grants from the AFCP for 2019, from a diverse international and worthy applicant pool, the selection committee approved the project "Oman: Conservation of 19th-Century Photographs in the Collection of the National Museum of Oman". In this context, Leslie M. Tsou, U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate visited the National Museum and was greeted by Jamal Hassan Al-Moosawi - Secretary-General of the National Museum, to view the album. 


By working with the National Museum to support the preservation of Oman’s cultural heritage, the AFCP will help restore vitality and culturally defining historical artefacts to ensure their enjoyment and relevance, not only today but for generations to come.


It is worth noting that this album is dated back to 1885 CE (1288- 1302 AH / 1871–85 C.E.) and consists of 88 pages and 93 albumen print. The album contains approximately (65) photographs of Oman, nearly all taken in and around Muscat, including the nearby town of Mattrah. Many of the pictures were attributed to Louis Maguire, with at least three photographs taken by S.B. Miles in 1885 CE. The album contains the earliest ever-known photographs of Mattrah, A'Rustaq Fort, Jabreen Castle from the town’s market, and Jabal Misht. The album has a presentation inscription in ink on the first mount indicates and pencil captions on the mounts attributed to Miles.