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Prince Amyn Aga Khan Letter to Patrons of Aga Khan Museum

Friday, 2016, October 14
Prince Amyn Aga Khan
Prince Amyn Aga Khan

77 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M3C 1K1, Canada

14 October 2016

Syria: A Living History

Dear Patrons,

I am writing to you because we are on the eve of the opening of what I think can be seen as an
exceptional exhibition that the Aga Khan Museum has organized in Toronto. By creating “Syria:
A Living History”, the Museum has responded to what I believe can be deemed among the most
significant and serious events in recent years. This exhibition, and the programs around it, are
devoted to telling the history of Syria over 5,000 years, exemplifying the many cultures that,
through the centuries, have intermingled and have helped to shape Syria’s identity and
character. As you know, one of the Museum’s essential themes is “connecting cultures” and I
hope very much that this exhibition, reflecting the diversity of the people and cultures that have
made up, and make up, this remarkable area, will reveal and illuminate the dialogue of cultures
that is at the heart of our common human heritage.

In creating this exhibition, the Museum has also played an important leadership role by
establishing a quite exceptional partnership among eight major international institutions,
including the Musée du Louvre, the Berlin State Museums, the Metropolitan Museum and the
Royal Ontario Museum. In recognition of its efforts, UNESCO has extended its patronage to the
full program surrounding this exhibition and it was opened yesterday by two members of the
Cabinet of Canada: the Minister for Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and the
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable John McCallum. This
exhibition thus goes far to put the Aga Khan Museum on the recognized international level that
the Museum seeks to attain.

Programs like Syria are exactly what the Aga Khan Museum stands for: through the arts, it
seeks to connect cultures, to open windows onto worlds unknown, to reflect the creative
interactions that through history have given us our common human heritage and to encourage
on-going dialogue among people. Programs of this importance can only happen with the
backing of our Patrons (and indeed all our Donors), who have so generously supported the
Museum and its programs since its opening barely two years ago. On behalf of the Board, I
would like to thank you for this. I hope very much that you will be able to find the time to visit
the Museum during the run of the exhibition (15 October 2016 to 26 February 2017). The
exhibition is about dialogue, between peoples, between cultures, between the past and the
present. I think we have tried to do something important.

With my most affectionate wishes

Prince Amyn Aga Khan
Chairman, Board of Directors

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