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Exhibitions: the incense route from Oman to Italy

Mostre, la via dell’incenso dall’Oman in Italia
Mostre: la via dell’incenso dall’Oman in Italia

An exhibition on the historical links between Italy and Oman thanks to the Incense Route, organised by the Italian Embassy and the National Museum of Oman, and curated by the Associazione Italiana Per Fumum of Turin, was inaugurated in Mascate, in the presence of the Italian Ambassador, Federica Favi, and Omani Prince Kamil Al Said.

The “Incēnsum” exhibition is held during the Italian Cuisine Week to highlight the link between the pleasure of the senses produced by incense and the fragrances of our gastronomy; the fragrance is an essential element of all recipes. The ancient Incense Route, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a thousand-kilometre route across deserts, seas, and mountains, followed for centuries to trade the precious resin from Oman. Many cultures and religions came into contact along this route from Arabia Felix to Rome. Italian finds and precious objects related to the incense from museums and private collections are displayed with magnificent Omani artefacts.

Considered as gold, in Roman times, incēnsum was used for sacrificial offerings, linking the earthly world with the sacred, and was appreciated by the imperial court and the aristocracy. Later it also became a symbol of holy kingship in Christianity. The exhibition’s theme is also in line with Expo 2020, where the Oman pavilion, with its incense tree, dialogues with the ideal of beauty illustrated in the Italian pavilion. “Incēnsum” will remain open at the National Museum until 6 March 2022.