Islamic Art Museum soon to open in Qatar

Ieoh Ming Pei
Islamic Art Museum
Doha, Qatar

4/6/08 — Museum — Paris, Ensba — The Embassy of Qatar recently invited the press to a presentation of its new Museum of Islamic Art which will not open until next November, although the building is finished and the objects have been installed.
Islamic Art does not fall within the field treated by The Art Tribune but this news item is important in that it shows how an emirate state close to Abu-Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates can develop an ambitious and legitimate museum policy without resorting to leasing them from a foreign collection. Qatar has acted with determination over the last fifteen years in assembling a collection of Islamic art with the goal of opening its own museum.
Designed by Ieoh Ming Pei and organized by the inevitable Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the building (as seen in the photographs) is a beautiful architectural feat. The museum’s program revolves around the Islamic arts as products of a civilization rather than a religion. The masterpieces of the collection had been exhibited at the Louvre in 2006.

Such a museum will fit in well with the international exhibition circuit by collaborating with other major foreign establishments. More museum openings are to follow in Qatar, based on the same principles.

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Didier Rykner, mercredi 4 juin 2008

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