Art And Culture

Major Gallery Dedicated to Islamic World at British Museum

Major Gallery Dedicated to Islamic World at British MuseumMajor Gallery Dedicated to Islamic World at British Museum

The British Museum has recently announced that it is to open a major new gallery dedicated to the Islamic world.

The new space will open in 2018 and include exhibits currently not on display as well as re-displayed objects, Standard website reported.

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

Venetia Porter, lead curator on the project, said it was particularly important in the context of Islamic State’s destruction of artifacts in Iraq at sites such as Nimrud where they reportedly bulldozed the ancient city earlier last month.

“These are our shared histories. What’s been destroyed in Iraq belongs to all of us. This new gallery we hope will enable people to look at the cultures of Islam from Spain to China in a deep and different way,” She said.

The new gallery will increase space dedicated to the area from 479 to 612 m2.

Among the exhibits to go on display will be enamelled glass mosque lamps, miniature paintings and important archaeological material from Samarra in Iraq as well as contemporary works on paper or possibly video art.

There will also be dark areas dedicated to rotating displays of light sensitive material, such as Persian and Mogul paintings and calligraphies and ethnographic material which currently cannot be displayed.

The space will examine from the beginning of Islam to about 1500, highlighting the arts of the great medieval dynasties. The second gallery will show objects that represent the “pinnacle of creativity” under the Ottamans, Safavids and Moguls - the three major dynasties dominating the Islamic world from the 16th Century - including ceramics, jewelry and paintings from the museum’s collection.

It will also feature objects and textiles from Central, South and South-East Asia, which will link to displays in other parts of the Museum.