Ghalya's Museum of Modern Art

Museum in Muscat

Image by Jenny Walker Lonely Planet

This delightful little museum, which encompasses both a modern art gallery and an old furnished house, encapsulates something of the excitement of the new, tinged with nostalgia for a pre-Renaissance world that has so quickly been left behind. The house unfolds like a puzzle, wrapped around a tiny central courtyard, and seems to occupy more space than logic allows.

The exhibits on display, many of which are preserved from the 1950s to mid-1970s, are centred on the private memorabilia of the family that once occupied this shore-side house. As such, the box of Kraft cheese and old biscuit tins in the former kitchen are as evocative of this bygone era as the beautifully crafted doors from East Africa that decorate the cosy interior.