Visiting the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) has become an enriching experience not only for residents and students in the country but also for diplomats.
“I am deeply impressed by the visionary lines and forms of the museum’s external design, which reinterprets in an innovative way the concept of “desert rose”, a traditional symbol of the Arab culture,” Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano told Gulf Times
The envoy accompanied Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during his visit to NMoQ on April 3, and was welcomed by Qatar Museums (QM) chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano
NMoQ, a stunning architecture designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, and home to an array of rare and unique collections, continues to draw a large number of local and foreign visitors daily since it opened to the public on March 28.
During the Italian PM’s visit, Salzano said HE Sheikha Al Mayassa explained the conceptual vision behind the National Museum and guided them through the exploration of its rich environment.
“All collections are absolutely outstanding, but I was particularly interested in those galleries telling the story of the origins and the people from earliest times, which enriched significantly my knowledge of the history of Qatar,” he noted.
One of the highlighted items in the galleries include “Motherland” (2018), a work by Hassan bin Mohamed al-Thani (b. 1962), which expresses and represents the artist’s “connection and appreciation for the land, motherhood and national identity.”
A large-scale sculpture, Motherland portrays a traditional dhow docked on the shore and pays homage to the Gulf’s last generation of women who wore the battoula.
Apart from the Pearl Carpet of Baroda, which was embroidered with around 1.5mn Basra pearls, another major collection is the Al Zubarah Qur’an (in two volumes). It was transcribed by Ahmed bin Rashid bin Juma’a bin Khamis bin Hilal al-Mureikhi who completed the work on October 28, 1806.
“I would like to congratulate HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, QM and the Qatari people for this great achievement which shows the commitment of the country and its wise leadership to promote knowledge and preserve cultural heritage,” Salzano said.
“I am sure that NMoQ will significantly contribute to strengthen cultural exchanges and dialogue with Italy and the international community, while encouraging the social development of the Qatari community,” he added.
Other important items displayed in the galleries also include “The Celebration Chair”, a gold-plated wood and red velvet chair made in India in 1935 and was commissioned by Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah al-Thani. He used the chair for official celebrations and events.
Swedish ambassador Ewa Polano
Swedish ambassador Ewa Polano described NMoQ as “a beautiful building; elegant, impressive and unique,” stressing that “the extraordinary collections on display will give Qatar’s population and all the international visitors in the coming years another jewel of cultural highlight in Doha.”
The envoy is looking forward to bringing more Swedish delegations and guests to Qatar and NMoQ in the near future.
The envoy congratulated Qatar, its wise leadership His Highness the Amir, and HE Sheikha Al Mayassa for the launch of NMoQ, which tells the story of Qatar in an immersive and innovative way.
“I feel grateful to serve as ambassador here in this fascinating country. Qatar is full of surprises and the creativity of the leadership of Qatar continues to impress me,” she stressed.
According to QM, the NMoQ, spread over a gross floor area of 52,000sqm, and with a route extending more than 1.5km, is set out chronologically, beginning with the period before the peninsula was inhabited by humans and continuing up to the present day.