Saturday, August 1, 2009

Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art is the latest addition to the list of developments of the Gulf region’s powerhouse – Qatar.

Designed by a seasoned international architect named Ieoh Ming Pei, this five-storey masterpiece showcases a rich collection of more than 800 priceless artifacts from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, many on public display for the first time. At 382,000-square feet, it is the largest museum solely dedicated to Islamic art in the world.

This museum is the centrepiece of a huge drive to put Qatar on the map as a major destination for arts and culture in the Gulf. MIA houses Islamic art from the 7th to the 19th centuries and the list includes manuscripts, ceramics, metals, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones.

The museum is connected to its mainland by two majestic bridges. The first is a magnificent avenue, showing an artificial stream lined with palm trees. The other and more extravagant way is through a yacht, mostly for the Royal family, disembarking at a private dock. Now that’s more interesting.

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