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International preview of Aga Khan Museum held in Dubai 2014-03-18

Tuesday, 2014, March 18
Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter

Dubai: North America’s sole museum dedicated to Islamic arts and cultures — the Aga Khan Museum — held its first international preview at the Ismaili Centre Dubai on Tuesday.
Located in Toronto, Canada, the Aga Khan Museum showcases a collection of more than 1,000 artefacts and artworks — in ceramic, metalwork, ivory, stone and wood, as well as textiles and carpets, among others — that span more than 1,000 years. The collection presents an overview of the artistry of Muslim societies from Spain to China.
Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, attended the event along with other VIP guests.
During his keynote speech, Shaikh Nahyan said the opening of the museum plays a key role in fostering knowledge and understanding through the preservation of Islamic heritage.

“The museum preserves important artefacts of our Islamic heritage. They communicate our history, culture, and art. Those artefacts convey a clear sense of Muslim diversity, a diversity that deserves global prominence,” Shaikh Nahyan said.
“I strongly believe that culture and the arts are important catalysts for peace, understanding and harmony in the world,” he added.
With more than 1,700 square metres of gallery space, the museum is due to open after autumn this year. It is an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency founded by the spiritual leader, Aga Khan.
Apart from exhibitions, the museum will also have a performing arts calendar and learning programmes for all ages. The international preview exhibit was held in the emirate on Tuesday as part of Art Dubai that began on the same day, said Amirudin Thanawalla, President of the Prince Aga Khan Shia Ismaili Council for the UAE, that hosted the event.
Arif Lalani, Canadian Ambassador to the UAE, who co-sponsored the event, said bringing the preview exhibition to the Middle East through Art Dubai is only fitting. “Dubai is shaping new and constructive encounters between cultures in the 21st century. Canada and its institutions are proud to be part of this story.”
The Dubai preview showcased five pieces from the museum’s collection that span 300 years, available for viewing by invitation only until Thursday afternoon.

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