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French Version

Jordan National Museum Project underway

Although the idea of building a national museum in Amman was on the minds of many in the tourism and antiquities quarters during the 1960s, turbulent political events and economic reasons made it less of a priority, Assem Barghouthi, general director of the National Museum Project told The Star.

But now, the project is well underway and construction should begin within the middle of this year. The National Museum Project was established in accordance with a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty King Abdallah on May 2002, when he confirmed that the establishment of such museum in Jordan “would hold an esteemed status.”

Exhibitions, research studies, collection management, visitor’s services, administration and operation maintenance are all expected to come as a result of this JD 10 million project. The responsible agencies for the project will be the Greater Amman Municipality, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Public Works and Housing. The National Museum Project aims to establish a museum for Jordan that will be up to international standards, presenting the history and cultural heritage of Jordan to both the local population and tourists. “The location will be in the vicinity of the Amman Municipality, near the gardens there,” said Barghouthi. “It will take up to three dunums and consists of three floors, with a total built area of 9500-square-meters,” he explained.

The three floors will consist of one main exhibition hall, orientation hall. It will also include traditional life, royal, temporary, archaeology and history exhibitions. “The general concept of the exhibition plan at the Museum will be to tell the story of Jordan: Land and man from Paleolithic to modern times,” explained Barghouthi. The organization structures consist of four main entities, which include the museum operation body, management, and departments for administration, technical and public relations.

The National Museum is one of six projects selected as a result of the Tourism Development Master Plan, a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and funded by loans from the Japan Bank international cooperation. “I would like to point out that making the National Museum Project a reality would not have been possible without the moral and financial support of the government and people of Japan,” said Barghouthi. “Jordanians and Japanese experts are working side by side to fulfill this dream.” The museum will be ruled and regulated by a board of Trustees and a Directory Committee, whose duties and responsibilities will be defined by special bylaws set for this purpose. “Part of the mission of the museum is to serve as a facility creating awareness among Jordanians on the importance of their national heritage,” said Barghouthi.

The director also predicts that the educational sector will benefit greatly as a result of this museum. “It will also serve as a research and study base for academics and scholars and as an education facility for school children across the country,” Barghouthi continued. Barghouthi also said this museum is significant to preserve and protect the numerous archeological pieces and folklore materials, which with time can dissolve, be destroyed or even parish. Like, the Car Museum at the King Hussein Park, the museum envisioned will be audiovisual and the visitor will be interacting and involved in the settings and display. “There will be a great emphasis on the audiovisual aspect so as to make the visitor not only see but get the feel of Jordan’s history, culture and people,” said Barghouthi.

The director also pointed out that Jordanians and tourists alike will be pleasantly surprised to find that the national museum, will offer something distinct. “We will be different in the display, the way we focus on a certain subject and we will depend on advanced technology in order to have a greater impact on the visitor,” Barghouthi added. “The National Museum will be a cultural landmark and a symbol of pride for Jordan.”

Amman,06April2004
Rana Sweiss
The Star


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