British Museum announces major gallery dedicated to Islamic world

The Albukhary Foundation is providing significant support for a major new gallery to redisplay the collections of the Islamic world at the British Museum.

The area, which will replace the existing Islamic World gallery on the north side of the museum and is considerably bigger, will lie at the heart of the museum.

The museum said the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World aims to give visitors an understanding of the diverse and wide-ranging cultures of the Islamic world.

Model, Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Model, Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

”What we’re excited about is to be able to show the full breadth of it. What we’ve been building in recent years is the art of the contemporary Middle East. To be able to show the contrast, the breadth of creativity from early Islam to the present day, the mix of objects I’m really excited about.” Said Venetia Porter, lead curator on the project.

The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will open to the public at the end of October 2018 and will reveal the British Museum’s outstanding collections in engaging new ways, underscoring the global connections of this vast region of the world. This new gallery represents a shared vision between the British Museum and the Malaysia-based Albukhary Foundation and will give visitors an understanding of the diverse and wide-ranging cultures of the Islamic world.

mosque lamp
Mosque Lamp

This announcement is also marked by an award celebrating the contribution of the British Museum’s touring exhibition ‘Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam’ that was first shown at the British Museum in 2012. This award is an inaugural annual Prize for Educators, instituted jointly in 2014 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organ.

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Albukhary Foundation for this generous donation to the British Museum. The Islamic collections are an extremely important part of the British Museum and these new galleries will allow the museum to display these fascinating exhibits in a way that will both delight visitors and increase understanding of Islamic cultures. Donations like these help ensure our great cultural institutions maintain their reputation as some of the best and most exciting in the world.”

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