The inauguration ceremony was attended by diplomats and cultural emissaries representing all nations of the region that together are celebrated as part of the Qatar-Menasa 2022 Year of Culture.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said, “It is with immense pride that we reintroduce the Museum of Islamic Art, inviting the community to discover the reimagined museum, and newcomers, including the many visitors who are coming to attend the FIFA World Cup, to experience it for the first time. The 2008 opening of the Museum of Islamic Art was a transformational moment for Qatar, marking the nation’s emergence as a new global cultural destination and paving the way for establishing other major museums and cultural institutions in the region.
"We look forward to the institution’s next chapter, which comes on the heels of Qatar Creates, a wide-ranging initiative which showcases and promotes the very best cultural experiences Qatar has to offer to help enhance the lives of all who reside in or visit the country. So many people came together to make today a reality, I thank them for their support and commitment to bringing our culture and history to the heart of our society."
The Museum of Islamic Art, an architectural tour de force designed by internationally acclaimed Pritzker Prize-winning architect I M Pei (1917-2019), was the first institution opened by Qatar Museums in 2008 under the leadership of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa. Prominently positioned on its own reclaimed island on the Corniche, specifically chosen by Pei, the museum is a beacon for Islamic arts and a platform for international dialogue and exchange bridging past and present, East and West, a press statement notes.
The reimagining of MIA’s collection galleries introduces a comprehensive visitor trail, creates expanded interpretive materials to help contextualise the masterworks, and provides new mobile and child-friendly resources to make the museum more accessible for families and younger guests. The galleries are organised according to broad historical and cultural themes, periods and geography, and explore the great traditions of Islamic craftsmanship.
MIA also introduces a new section on Islam in Southeast Asia with focus on the connection between different cultures through exhibits on the trade of commodities and the exchange of ideas across the Islamic world and beyond. The enhanced and expanded experience eases visitor flow to serve a larger audience with a reframed entrance and upgraded cafés and retail locations.
Safar at MIA Park
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is presenting Safar, an exhibition highlighting the experiences of Afghan refugees in Qatar after their evacuation in 2021. Safar will be on view from tomorrow until December 31 at MIA Park.
MIA director Dr Julia Gonnella said, “I am honoured to lead this extraordinary institution into its next chapter. The extensive enhancement introduces an entirely new storyline that takes visitors on a comprehensive journey that provides a meaningful and enriching experience for children and families to explore the rich vast history of the Islamic world through our unparalleled collection.”