Saturday, January 25, 2014

NEWS: Museum of Islamic Art WILL BE BACK

UNESCO has released a statement "firmly condemning" damage to Egypt's Museum of Islamic Arts. Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General, expressed her grave concern over the destruction the blast has "caused to the world-renowned [museum]" and its "thousands of invaluable artifacts." Bokova also pledged to mobilise UNESCO resources to help rebuild the museum.

"This is as essential for the people of Egypt as it is for women and men across the world," she declared. "This heritage is part of the universal story of humanity, shared by all, and we must do everything to safeguard it."Bokova further applauded Egypt's Ministry of State for Antiquities for responding to the museum's location so quickly and taking all the necessary steps to rescue damaged artifacts.

Before and After: Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art

Yesterday, one of the most renowned Islamic museums in the world, described as “a light in the heart of Cairo” by Zahi Hawass is destroyed.

According to the Ministry of Aniquities, the museum’s interior decoration and infrastructure have been severely damaged and several antiquities have been destroyed by the Jan. 24 explosion. The extent of the interior damage remains unknown, but pictures show devastating damage to the building’s exterior from the bomb blast, including the museum’s iconic façade.

As of 2014, the Museum of Islamic Art displayed one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world with over 100,000 artifacts in its possession. “We chose objects that tell us about different periods of Islamic civilization and this is really shown in a beautiful way,” explained Adrien Gardere, an expert on Islamic art who helped organize the museum’s interior. Priceless antiquities included one of the oldest and most rare copies of the Quran.

The renovation masterplan and the design for the new exhibition were drawn up by French designer and museographer Adrien Gardère in cooperation with the Islamic Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris, which has in the past advised on the reorganisation of the museum's collections.

The Museum of Islamic Arts first opened in 1881 with an initial display of 111 objects gathered from mosques and mausoleums across Egypt. Its first home was in the arcades of the mosque of the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah. Because of the rapid increase in the size of the collection, however, a new building was constructed in the courtyard of the mosque in 1883. Construction began in 1899 on a building in Bab El-Khalq, a stone's throw from the centre of Islamic Cairo, that would give the museum its own space. This building opened its doors in 1903 with a collection of 3,154 objects. Since then the museum has become the primary home for the national collection of Islamic art.

Official website for Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo CLICK HERE

Pictures of Museum of Islamic Art after renovation CLICK HERE

Youtube video copied from AhramOnline channel
Video and Edit by Rachel Beth Anderson / Music by Esteem
Comments by Dr. Zahi Hawass & French Designer Adrien Gardere
** Full article "In Focus: Museum of Islamic Art" CLICK HERE
** An article about Museum of Islamic Art from AhramOnline - November 2010 by Nevine El-Aref "A Century of Islamic Art for All" CLICK HERE

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