The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue exhibition, launched by the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum, was inaugurated on Monday at the Weltmuseum in Vienna, Austria, the fourth stop of its global tour.
The programme is under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, according to a statement.
The exhibition brings together a unique collection of artefacts assembled by the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum, highlighting the interaction between previous civilisations while encouraging present-day dialogue. It follows on from the success of its three previous exhibitions held at the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta, Malta, and at the Unesco headquarters and the Arab World Institute in Paris, France.
The exhibition was inaugurated at a press conference attended by HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Frieband Museum director general Dr Sabine Hagg, Weltmuseum director Dr Christan Schicklgruber, and Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum director Kees Wieringa.
Dr Hagg introduced the idea of The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue and the importance of such an interactive exhibition, highlighting the importance of dialogue with each other.
Dr Schicklgruber thanked HE Sheikh Faisal for choosing the Weltmuseum as a platform for The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue. Wieringa spoke about the idea of dialogue and the importance of exhibitions that go hand in hand with the Majlis' topics, as well as the partnership between the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum, the Unesco Office in Doha and Qatar Shell, the official sponsor of the tour.
HE Sheikh Faisal spoke about his autobiography and his passion for collecting artefacts through visits with his father to the museums in Europe when he was young.
The exhibition will continue until January 7 next year at the Weltmuseum, an ethnographic museum which houses some of the most important collections of non-European cultures. It promotes dialogue with the public, as well as with the hosting institutes which contribute distinctive items from their own collections.
The concept behind this diverse cultural exhibition is to recreate the atmosphere of the Majlis—the area for hospitality and discussion in homes in the Arabian Gulf— thereby offering visitors the opportunity to exchange ideas about the similarities between different cultures and about how these have been expressed in technology, art and culture.
The exhibition in Vienna will engage visitors through several activities. There will be a focus on education, promoting tolerance and diversity through cultural objects from all over the world. Additionally, a programme of Majlis Talks will encourage visitors to respond to what they see and share their own stories, creating dialogue between the East and the West, the young and the old, within a real Majlis setting.
Showcasing an exceptional collection that reflects the beauty of centuries of intercultural dialogue, the exhibition encourages visitors to sit in the Majlis, listen to stories, engage in conversations, and discover the unique experience.
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