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Oman gifts African art museum $1.8 million

The money is the largest donation in the museum’s history

Published: Updated:

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington is receiving a $1.8 million gift from Oman, the largest donation in the museum’s history.

The gift announced Wednesday will fund a series of programs called “Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa.” It will focus on Omani arts and culture and the links between cultures in East and North Africa and the Middle East.

Oman is a country of 4 million on the southwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Museum director Johnnetta Betsch Cole says the gift is a significant milestone for the museum, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.