The Annual Conference of ICOM’s International Committee for Museums of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) took place at the University of Nizwa in Oman from 6 to 10 October, 2012, under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq al Said, representative of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
From left to right, Mr. Al-Lawati, Chair of ICOM Oman, Piet De Gryse, Chair of ICOMAM, Hans-Martin Hinz, Chair of ICOM, HE The Under Secretary of Heritage, Christopher Roads, organizer of the conference
The general theme of the discussions and keynote speeches was Military Heritage in Oman and the Middle East and the Relationship with the Outside World. The conference, which aimed to explore the country and the region’s rich military history, culture and museums, was built around five sub-themes allowing participants to cover various aspects of the general theme: small arms in Oman and the Arabian Peninsula, fortification and ordnance in Oman and the Arabian Peninsula, Oman as a bridge between East & West, firearms and museums (legislation and new tendencies on small arms and firearms in museums), and current research related to military heritage and the East. In total, the event was attended by some 35 participants.
The opening speech was given by Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM, who emphasized that explaining the past to the present generation is a great challenge and that the importance of exhibitions and museums lies in their ability to foster a better understanding of history, which ultimately contributes to the world’s peaceful future
In his speech welcoming guests and delegates from across the world, Piet De Gryse, ICOMAM president, said that this was the first time in the long history of the committee that a conference of this scale was being organized in the Arab world. He expressed the hope that this would result in more intensive relationships and contacts with museum professionals from this region of the world.
The conference proceedings will be published in the course of 2013.