The launch event marks the opening of the first phase of the renovation of the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art), comprising eight renovated galleries
A new digital platform will make museum content accessible to visitors and serve as an educational tool to broaden understanding of the Islamic world
BERLIN, May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Alwaleed Philanthropies Global, chaired by HRH the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Pergamonmuseum’s Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art) opened the doors to eight galleries recently renovated as part of the first phase of the works. As part of the reopening of the galleries, Alwaleed Philanthropies Global and the museum also announced a series of projects focused on improving knowledge and understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern art; including the digital platform ‘islamic-art.smb.museum’, a ‘New Approaches to Islamic Art’ symposium and the continuation of the Multaka project.
The launch event, organized in partnership with the Association of Friends of the Museum of Islamic Art, on 20and May at the Museum für Islamische Kunst, brought together the artistic, academic and political communities to celebrate the launch of the galleries; as well as to jointly consider how art and culture can contribute to public perception of the diversity and history of Islamic art. Guided tours were organized by Multaka guides, an initiative that provides opportunities for people with migration or refugee experience from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as tour guides. Since its inception, the Museum für Islamische Kunst’s Multaka project has grown into an international network of 29 cultural institutions across Europe and over 140 guides and volunteers.
With the support of Alwaleed Philanthropies Global, the Museum für Islamische Kunst has undertaken significant changes and modernization of its permanent exhibition to improve diversity and access. This includes a new holistic and sensory experience, allowing visitors to hear and smell unique museum pieces.
The newly renovated galleries also include a display of 3D models of the museum’s full exhibits when they open in 2026; which were co-designed with Alwaleed Philanthropies Global and were unveiled at the event. Once completed, the galleries will offer visitors an immersive and atmospheric experience with adults and children invited to explore the collection with all their senses through tactile objects, multimedia stations, games, sounds and scents.
The event also marked the official launch of ‘islamic-art.smb.museum’, an online platform that brings the Museum für Islamische Kunst to life and is accessible to teachers, students and the general public to deepen the Islamic art education and heritage. The platform allows people to go through a 360° virtual tour, as well as download educational materials and access more information about art and exhibitions.
Participation in the event, SAR Princess Lamia bent Majed Saud Al SaudSecretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies Global, said: “Museums have a significant influence on shaping perceptions of cultural identities, making them essential to building more understanding and tolerant communities. Our work with the Pergamonmuseum plays an important international role in exploring the possibilities of making the Islamic art and cultural history more accessible to the general public and continue to build cultural bridges to serve all within our communities.
“We are pleased to extend our support for the Multaka program here in Berlin. Since we began our support in 2018, it has been inspiring to see the positive impact he has had on the lives of refugees and immigrants living here in Berlinwho play a crucial role in helping to develop a deeper cultural understanding of the Islamic world.”
Alwaleed Philanthropies Global entered into a partnership with the Pergamonmuseum in 2018, announcing funding of over €9 million to support the renovation of the Museum für Islamische Kunst and its galleries. In addition to enhancing the visitor experience, the partnership also aims to increase cultural understanding by supporting education programs and raising public awareness, while helping to train refugees as tour guides at the museum through the program. Multaka.
Teacher Stephane Weberdirector of the Museum für Islamische Kunst, commented on the event: “Today is an important moment as we complete the first phase of the renovation of the Museum für Islamische Kunst, a four-year journey that could only have been possible with the support of Alwaleed Philanthropies who supported our vision. The financial support provided has enabled the museum to expand the team to develop media platforms and a cutting-edge educational program.
“The continued success of Multaka, now in many museums across Europe, is at the heart of our conviction: that the migration of ideas, techniques and people is the mother of all cultures. Islamic culture over the centuries has influenced the societies we live in today, whether in Middle East or in Europe.”
The Saudi Museums Commission participates in this global event by showcasing the Kingdom’s efforts to support Islamic arts and strengthen its role in serving the concepts of tolerance, acceptance and cooperation, in addition to lending unique pieces of Islamic art. which will be exhibited in the museum at a future date.
During the event, a symposium was held under the theme of “New Approaches to Islamic Art”, inviting ideas from Silke Ackermandirector of the History of Science Museum, Oxford, Stefano CarboniCEO of the Museums Commission of the Saudi Ministry of Culture, Wendy ShawProfessor of World Arts and Art History of Islamic Cultures, and Professor Stephane Weberdirector of the Museum für Islamische Kunst.
Bachar Almohammad Alchahine, tourist guide of the Multaka project added: “My experience as a guide in Multaka was rich and distinguished, as I was a cultural activist. Thanks to this, I was able to spread the message of art, culture and heritage, which is a language world to build bridges between all civilized people with different cultural backgrounds.The language of art and culture is the bridge that unites us to spread the concept of tolerance and peace in the world.Especially in this world where there are too many conflicts.
The Museum für Islamische Kunst at the Pergamonmuseum is the only one of its kind in Germany and houses nearly 100,000 artifacts, making it the largest of Europe. The museum is located on Museumsinsel Berlin (Berlin’s Museum Island), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where it attracts nearly one million visitors a year.
About Alwaleed Philanthropies Global
For four decades, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and spent more than $4.4 billion on social protection and has launched more than 1,000 projects in more than 189 countries, managed by 10 Saudi members, reaching more than one billion beneficiaries worldwide, regardless of gender, race or religion. Alwaleed Philanthropies works with a range of philanthropic, governmental and non-governmental organizations to fight poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.
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