New Islamic art exhibits planned to counter Islam’s militant image

Muslim School Children, Visiting the British Museum’s Hajj Exhibition. Source.

(Reuters) — Art from the Islamic world will be shown in the heart of the British Museum, instead of on the sidelines, in two new galleries funded by a Malaysian foundation which hopes to offset the image created by Islamic militants.

The museum, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of art and artefacts, said on Thursday it plans to open two new galleries in its south wing devoted to its extensive collection of art from the Islamic world.

Until now works from the collection have been displayed in a gallery tucked away on the north side of the massive building, a long walk from the main entrance.

The two new galleries, which will complement the existing gallery, are being funded for an undisclosed amount by the Albukhary Foundation of Malaysia.

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, the foundation’s chairman, said there was an urgent need to make people more aware of the value of art and artifacts from the Islamic world, and the threats to this cultural heritage, especially at a time when historic sites in Iraq are under attack by militants of the Islamic State.

“What is happening in the world, demolishing all the Islamic heritage, non-Islamic antiquities, is a bad image,” he said.

“The British Museum … has been building this collection, without them we would not have any history,” he added.

The decision followed what the museum said was the extraordinary success of its 2012 exhibition “Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam” which director Neil MacGregor said had attracted almost 150,000 visitors…

  • Clausewitz

    Oh yeah, that pictures goes a long way to dispelling that myth. /sarc off

    • Frau Katze

      I know what you mean!

  • Minicapt

    Will they include info on the actual origins of the ‘Islamic art’?


  • Yusuf_Al_Kafir

    What art exhibits are planned for the other religions with a ‘militant image’?

    Put differently, if Islam is just like all of the other religions, than why don’t the other religions need art exhibits for the sake of public relations?

    As nice as some Islamic Art is (ie – the stolen architecture), it still all goes back to Muhammad and his Koran.

    Sure, the flowers in Chernobyl are pretty, but, do they not grow out of poisoned soil? 😉

    • Yusuf_Al_Kafir

      Acclaimed actress, and dipshit extraordinaire, Susan Sarandon lends her voice to the ‘Look at all of the pretty things that the conquering Muslims made!’ argument……

      (preview of a much longer documentary on Islamic art)

  • Maggat

    I can picture the painting hanging in the Louvre “A Mushroom Over Mecca”. Now there’s art.

  • ed

    the depiction of any living thing is banned in islam ! music by wind or string is banned in islam ! chess is banned in islam [only allah can decide check mate ] so good luck with that