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Oman’s cultural heritage is protected by a number of laws, the most important of which is the Cultural Heritage Law (CHL), which was issued in 2019 as a replacement for the National Heritage Protection Law (NHPL) that was in force since 1980. This paper reviews the protection and management of various types of cultural heritage under both these laws and other relevant national legislative tools. It discusses the aptness and adequacy of these laws to manage this heritage in light of the unprecedented development that the country has been witnessing since 1970. The study concludes that there are a number of aspects that need to be considered for the refinement and reformation of extant laws. For example, the legal and practical challenges that can arise from having a single law must be considered to manage and protect all types of cultural heritage. Also, the practicability of having two different organizations to manage both tangible and intangible heritage must be assessed. Finally, the study proposes to include the protection of cultural heritage in laws that have a direct and indirect relationship. Finally, it suggests the reconsideration of the separation of the bodies concerned with heritage from those concerned with culture.
Keywords: Sultanate of Oman; cultural heritage; tangible heritage; intangible heritage; law.
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