Sharjah: Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Sharjah Archaeology Museum, the Emirate’s first cultural institution that was established in 1993 to showcase archaeological material excavated in Sharjah and document its history.
Ms. Manal Ataya, Director-General of Sharjah Museums Authority, remarked that “it is a great day for SMA to commemorate this important milestone of a truly one-of-a-kind museum in the UAE and Gulf region.”
“I am privileged to have had the opportunity over these many years to oversee the development of the museum’s offerings and ensure we have stronger community engagement via our programs and exhibitions. I have personally been committed to greater scholarship, collaboration, and narrating the remarkable story of the UAE’s ancient history,” Mr. Ataya added.
An increase in the number of excavations and unique discoveries in Sharjah, specifically in the cities of Kalba and Mleiha, paved the way for the establishment of the museum in the emirate.
In 1988, following directives from Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, a committee comprising Emirati and French museology experts, as well as archaeologists who worked in various Sharjah sites, was assigned to help with the establishment of the museum.
Before officially inaugurating the museum on January 5, 1993, the Ruler of Sharjah gifted the new museum numerous objects of great significance. The ruler further issued a dedicated law in 1992 to further protect archaeological sites and discoveries and fight the illegal trade and smuggling of artifacts.
In addition, after becoming responsible for running the museum alongside 16 other museums across the emirate in 2006, SMA continues to put forth intensive efforts to develop the museum’s dedicated library, its displayed collection, and intensify its educational workshops for schools and the public. Over the years, it has published various specialized books on archaeology and catalogs of its exhibitions.
The museum has become a rich source of knowledge for scholars, students, and enthusiasts. Furthermore, it has organized numerous unprecedented exhibitions over the years with various institutions in the Arab region through the creation of temporary exhibition space.