Highlighting the role of museums

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Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum in Qatar, one of the country’s most fascinating heritage centres housing wide-ranging collections from Islamic cultural artifacts to vintage cars, has  joined more than 30,000 museums across the world to mark the International Museum Day.

Every year since 1977, International Museum Day is held around the world on May 18 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.

On the occasion of the International Museum Day 2013, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is partnering with the United Nations’ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Memory of the World Programme, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

ICOM and Memory of the World, which is dedicated to world documentary heritage, and also share a common vision of safeguarding heritage for the benefit of society and the potential of its digitisation for the future.

Faisal Bin Qassim Museum collector and owner Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani commented: “International Museum Day serves as a reminder of the significant role that museums play by keeping alive the past’s history, culture and traditions for the next generation to learn and draw from, thus enriching and influencing society in a positive way.  This year’s theme of ‘Social Change’ underlines the relevance of museums today.”

An important bridge to the next generation is the new museum website, which presents the museums’ awesome collections and exhibits in mesmerising detail with photography, fully explained and documented at: http://www.fbqmuseum.org.

A new logo has added a contemporary touch to the centre for Islamic culture, arts and heritage.

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum Board of Trustees vice-chair Sheikha al-Anood bint Faisal al-Thani said: “Recently, we launched the first ‘Travelling Museum Exhibition in the Middle East’, showcasing the rich heritage of the Islamic art of Calligraphy, entitled: “The Beauty of Words” at the American University of Sharjah and received a rapturous reception from students, alumni and the University.” 

She explained that the aim of the exhibition was to empower and expose students to some of the most distinguished and unique artworks that reflect the museum’s mission to encourage cultural exchange and promote history and art.

Later this year, the museum is donating important pieces to the British Museum in London to exhibit in October as part of the Qatar-UK Year of Culture 2013. 

The museum’s second ‘Travelling Exhibition’ will thus be on show in the UK’s top tourist attraction that receives over six million visitors a year.

Sheikha al-Anood added: “Opening up the museum to the next generation of schoolchildren is something planned for this winter, to raise their awareness of history and culture and experience the past.  It is an environment that holds so much that students can learn from and we hope to create a programme of interactive school visits that encourage them to draw and paint their impressions at the museum.”

One of Qatar’s leading entrepreneurs, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani is regarded as a key player in promoting the heritage and culture of Qatar.

Sheikh Faisal pioneered the establishment of a heritage venue to revive public interest and appreciation of local culture.

In 2012, Sheikh Faisal was awarded a title, “Heritage Personality of the Year”, for noteworthy achievements in heritage preservation organised under the patronage of the League of Arab States.


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