The National Museum of Bahrain hosted events dedicated to the International Day of Islamic art

03 December 2020

A series of events dedicated to the International Day of Islamic art, established by UNESCO and celebrated on November 18, was held at the National Museum of Bahrain in Manama with the support of the Bahrain Antiquities and Cultural Affairs Authority.

The documentary "Traces of the soul"

Through the creative path of twelve world-famous calligraphers, the film explores the world of modern calligraphy and the reasons why this ancient art remains relevant in the digital age. The film tells about how the art, philosophy and life paths of artists, whose works are rooted in the ancient traditions of this art, reflect and intertwine with the modern world.

"Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World"

Also shown as part of world Islamic art day, the film "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World" takes viewers on an epic journey through the history of nine countries over 1,400 years. Through objects of Islamic art and architecture held in major museums around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at Harvard University, the painting explores how phenomena such as words, ornaments, space, color, and water can tell entire stories

Panel discussion "Global view of Islamic art today"

Islamic art is not a monotheistic style or movement, it spans 1,400 years of history with unimaginably vast geography. The purpose of the discussion was to discuss what can be considered Islamic art, and what impact it has on the public. Speakers included Dr. Heba Barakat, the Head of the Department of the Museum of Islamic art of Malaysia, Dr. Ulrikke Alhamis, the Acting Director of the Aga Khan Museum, and others.

Exhibition dedicated to the minaret of the al-Fatiha mosque

The al-Fatiha minaret is an important part of the visual image of Bahrain. In order to restore its aesthetic and historical-symbolic significance, a lot of work was carried out on its restoration. The exhibition, among other things, presented the methods of restoration by which the minaret was restored.

Exhibition of frescoes inspired by Islamic art

The art of calligraphy uses words to express more than their literal meaning. The exhibition featured the work of twelve Bahraini artists who created original murals specifically for the International Day of International Art.

The series of events also included an exhibition of works by seven artists with Islamic roots-from the Persian Gulf region, North Africa, Andalusia (Spain) and Southeast Asia. The artists' works are inspired by elements of Islamic cultural heritage, such as the Arabic language, fabrics, handicrafts, etc.



In the cafe located in the National Museum of Bahrain, guests were offered a special menu of six dishes, each of which represented a separate region of the ancient Islamic world and contributed to the enrichment of Islamic traditions: Xinjiang-China, Morocco-North Africa, the Mughal Empire-Hindustan, Andalusia and the Malabar coast.

The International Day of Islamic art was proclaimed at the 40th session of the UNESCO General conference in 2019 and is held annually on November 18. Its goal is to raise awareness of the past and present forms of artistic expression of Islam, as well as the contribution of Islamic art to the development of cultures and civilizations.

The initiative to hold the International Day of Islamic art was actively supported by the Group of Strategic Vision  "Russia-Islamic world". Its head, President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov sent a greeting to UNESCO.

The Group of Strategic Vision "Russia — Islamic world" created on the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is open to a broad partnership. The Russian Federation makes a significant contribution to strengthening intercultural dialogue and promoting cultural rapprochement between peoples, " the text reads.

Rustam Minnikhanov also informed that a new Museum of Islamic culture is being created in Saint Petersburg, a world-recognized center of world culture, and expressed the hope that UNESCO would assist in the development of this project.

"I am pleased to note that the Republic of Tatarstan and UNESCO maintain long-standing excellent relations in the field of culture, education and preservation of world heritage sites. We are ready to continue to comprehensively deepen these ties," the head of the GSV "Russia – Islamic world" said.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Creative Commons