Albukhary Foundation initiates new gallery on Islamic world at British Museum

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 26 Mar 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The Albukhary Foundation is providing support for a major new gallery at the British Museum to redisplay the collections of the Islamic world.

The British Museum said in a statement the initiative coincides with an award celebrating the contribution of the museum’s touring exhibition ‘Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam’ that was first shown in 2012.

It said The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will open to the public at the end of October 2018 and will reveal the British Museum’s outstanding collections in engaging new ways, underscoring the global connections of this vast region of the world.

"This new gallery represents a shared vision between the British Museum and the Malaysia-based Albukhary Foundation and will give visitors an understanding of the diverse and wide-ranging cultures of the Islamic world.

"This announcement is also marked by an award celebrating the contribution of the British Museum’s touring exhibition ‘Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam’ that was first shown at the British Museum in 2012," it said.

The award is an inaugural annual Prize for Educators, instituted jointly in 2014 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS).

The objective of the Prize for Educators award is to promote dialogue and understanding between peoples, cultures and civilisations.

British Museum said the award "promotes these shared values by paying tribute to major institutions, leading figures and sponsors active in the promotion of values of peace and coexistence."

This year, the award has been issued to the British Museum for its widely praised exhibition ‘Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam’, both for its display in Bloomsbury in 2012 and for the touring versions to Doha, Leiden and Paris, which encapsulated its concepts and ideas.

It was felt by ISESCO and OCIS that this exhibition has done much to promote greater understanding of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj and its importance to Muslims.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said: “This generous gift from The Albukhary Foundation makes it possible for us to completely redisplay one of the world’s most important Islamic collections."

The Albukhary Foundation chairman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary congratulated the British Museum on all its good works, especially in promoting arts and culture throughout the world. 

"The Albukhary Foundation looks forward to working with the British Museum in promoting such a good cause,” he said.