20 Jan 2018 - 12:59
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has omitted Qatar from a world map exhibited at a recently opened Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, according to a veteran observer of Gulf affairs.
22 Jan 2018 - 15:06
Doha: A new map published by the United Arab Emirates' Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum appears to have removed the demarcation border between UAE and the Omani enclave of Musandam, in addition to removing Qatar.
It is the second time in a week that a map by the museum created controversy by reshaping the geography of the Arabian Peninsula after a previous map omitted the entire State of Qatar.
According to images published on social media, the new map shows Musandam, an exclave of Oman in the northern tip of the peninsula, as part of the UAE.
During a phone call with Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Dr Abdullah Al Ghailani, an Omani academic and researcher, said: “Omani-Emirati relations are not at their best since 2011, when Omani authorities announced the detection of an UAE espionage cell and some of the UAE government officials in Abu Dhabi, in particular, continued with many provocations against Oman like this map in Louvre Abu Dhabi, which cut off the entire Omani province and annexed it to the UAE.”
On social media, some Omani activists accused the museum of deliberately trying to distort the geography of the Gulf.
"The Louvre Abu Dhabi is lying and deliberately spreading misinformation," said Twitter user @BARQ_OMAN1.
Twitter user @MajedFakhar said it was second time the UAE had "annexed" Musandam in recent months after a map published on the Mohamed bin Zayed Award for Best GCC Teacher also removed the demarcation line.
“This has caused much anger, tension and resentment in Omani public opinion. Officially, nothing has happened at this moment. The UAE government should now adopt a clear stance on this issue. This is not marginal and cannot be easily overcome. This issue is related to tampering with geography and borders, which is a sovereign issue. A state cannot remove another state from the map only because it has a political problem with it, and it cannot annex an Omani province,’’ Al Ghailani added.
Last week, the Washington Institute's Simon Henderson reported that a map at the museum had "completely" omitted Qatar.
"In the children's section of Abu Dhabi's new flagship Louvre Museum, a map of the southern Gulf completely omits the Qatari peninsula - a geographical deletion that is probably incompatible with France's agreement to let Abu Dhabi use the Louvre's name," Henderson wrote.
Qatar Museums chairperson, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, responded tweeting: "Throughout history museums were a source of reference. People would visit to acquire knowledge and learn about world cultures through the exploration of objects on display. Although the notion of museums is a new one to Abu Dhabi, surely the @MuseeLouvre is not okay with this?"
At the time of publication, Louvre Abu Dhabi had not replied to Al Jazeera's request for comment.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a blockade on Qatar on June 5.