The exterio of the bright white Sheikan Gallery, which sits under a blue sky surrounded by small shrubs.
Sheikan Gallery ©


We are pleased to award the Community museums of Western Sudan: Omdurman, El Obeid, Nyala project £997,000

This project will restore three museums and provide for the educational and cultural needs of their communities, visitors and tourists.

Trade and cultural identity: Three museums on a historic route

The Khalifa House in Khartoum, the Sheikan Museum in El Obeid and the Darfur Museum in Nyala lie on a traditional trade route out of Western Sudan, to the capital Khartoum. Each museum hosts collections speaking to the community and history of the local area, as well as being nationally and internationally important. The Khalifa House has the first car in Sudan whilst the displays in the Darfur Museum were created through donations from the community.

Decades of conflict in Sudan have devastated communities, damaged heritage facilities and led to a loss of heritage skills. By revitalising three community museums in Sudan and providing training in heritage skills, this project will ensure the museums are protected and that their collections are valuable community and educational tools.

Community museums

Using traditional methods, local craftsmen and trainees will restore the Khalifa House and the Mudeirah Gate, and infrastructure at all three museums will be improved to ensure the museums are fit for the collections and their communities. Through training, a 5 year conservation management plan will be developed for each museum leading to better heritage management in the future.

On-the-job training in conservation, recording and cataloguing will lead to the protection of around 20,600 artefacts. Through the creation of new displays and a programme of workshops, educational and cultural events, communities will develop tools and understanding to protect and engage with their cultural heritage.

Khalifa House, an orange-red bricked building with chalky green windows and doors.
Khalifa House ©



ICCROM-ATHAR (Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region) is a regional conservation centre founded by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the Government of  the Emirate of Sharjah.

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah is dedicated to the  protection of  cultural heritage in the Arab region and to broadening access, appreciation and understanding of its rich history. Basing its philosophy, goals and activities on its wide knowledge and experience in the field of cultural heritage in the Arab region, ICCROM-ATHAR today is working to enhance the capacity of official heritage institutions to manage heritage sites, historic monuments and museum collections on a sustainable basis.

Project Partners

• The National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM)

• The Centre for Heritage Studies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

Mallinson Architects and Engineers