The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art is receiving a $1.8 million gift from Oman, the largest donation in the museum's history.
The gift announced Wednesday will fund a series of programs called ``Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa.'' It will focus on Omani arts and culture and the links between cultures in East and North Africa and the Middle East.
Oman is a country of 4 million on the southwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Museum director Johnnetta Betsch Cole says the gift is a significant milestone for the museum, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.