Muscat, 25 May (ONA)-- Dr. Lubana Mushawih, Syrian Minister of Culture, has said that shared civilizational and cultural values between the Sultanate of Oman and the Syrian Arab Republic are numerous and deep-rooted in history.
She added that the two countries constituted major landmarks along the Silk Route, and this made interaction among their civilization a natural and crucial outcome.
“The Sultanate of Oman serves, along with Syria, as a twin home for stone age and bronze age relics,” said Dr. Lubana.
She told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) 10 years ago for cooperation in protecting and rectifying material heritage.
According to the MoU, Damascus Museum will send some antiques for repair at the National Museum in Oman.
Oman’s offer to maintain and restore Syrian antiques stemmed from concerns caused by the crisis that occurred in Syria during the past 10 years. The initiative included the restoration of Omani sailor Ahmed bin Majid’s manuscript, said Dr. Lubana, who added, “We know the great importance of this manuscript for Omani people.”
Dr. Lubana pointed out that another example of such cooperation was Oman’s restoration of 100 Syrian coins that were sent back to Damascus Museum this year, and this coincided with Omani artefacts exhibition in Damascus, which was the first exposition ever organized for a party other than Syria.
A third example of cooperation is Oman’s taking loan of 175 antiques dating back to the Tadmur civilization.
The minister affirmed Oman was chosen “to embrace” Syrian antiques due to its neutral stands on the Syrian crisis. She described Oman as a “highly trusted country whose credibility is greatly cherished by the Syrian people”.
Dr. Lubana noted that 80% of the Syrian museums were safe during the crisis due to the fact that precautionary measures were immediately undertaken to keep them at bay upon the outbreak of the war.
Recovered included a carved bridge sustained by two stone pillars that was kept at a British museum, said Dr. Lubana, who explained that the restoration of this antique was very complex and it took many years to realize, thanks to Oman’s good relations with all.
The Sultanate of Oman also helped recover antiques smuggled to other countries from Syria, said the minister.