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 Egyptian Islamic Art Museum

Egypt has always been distinctive with its multi-cultural civilization preserved Egypt's position as one of the world's most attractive destination. One of which is the Islamic civilization which produced a unique collection of Islamic monuments and artefacts showing the significant contribution of the Islamic civilization to world heritage.


Islamic Art Museum Foundation

Cairo's Islamic Art Museum was founded in 1880 A.D during Khedive Tewfik era after Franz Pasha, the Head of the Technical department at Al-Awqaf, collected several artifacts of the Islamic era and placed them at the eastern section of Al-Hakim Mosque in Al-Mo'ez Street. The artifacts that reached 111 pieces were then displayed in a small museum at Al-Hakim Mosque's courtyard in 1882 A.D. It was called "the House of the Arabian Antiquities". Then in 1903 A.D, during Khedive Abbas Helmy II era the museum was moved to its current location in Bab El-Khalq, and it was named "Islamic Art Museum".  At that time the museum consisted of 23 halls displaying artifacts according to ages and materials.




Islamic Art Museum Restoration

Between 1983 and 1984, the museum went through a significant phase in which it was expanded to include two extra halls, a museum garden and a cafeteria.


Then in 2002, the museum had a comprehensive development process under the supervision of Aga khan Foundation and French experts. The development works included the construction of the administrative building, a library, a restoration department and a lecture hall. The museum has two main entrances one is on the right section of the museum displaying Islamic arts from the Umayyads period until the Ottoman period, while the left side dedicated to Islamic artifacts of other countries such as turkey and Persia, in addition to thematic halls focus on science, architecture, water and gardens, calligraphy and epigraphy, tombstones, and coffins representing different ages and Islamic countries.


Unfortunately, on 24th January 2014, the museum was deeply damaged by a car bomb targeted Cairo Police Headquarter standing across the museum. Following that horrible attack, the museum's employees exerted heroic efforts to save and rescue the artifacts from the debris left by the blast and stored them safely.


It took a whole year, until the beginning of 2015, to start taking serious steps to restore the museum to its original state thanks to the grants and donations offered by international entities and Arabic countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the UNESCO, ARCE, the Swiss Government, and the Italian Government.


Islamic Art Museum's collection

The Museum of the Islamic Art houses hundreds of thousands of antique Islamic artifacts of various types from different periods of Islamic history, and its collection is known for its diversity and uniqueness that made it a premier destination for researchers, historians and visitors interested in exploring Islamic arts and civilization. The collection includes metallic, glass and porcelain utensils, as well as jewelry, weapons, wood and ivory objects, textiles, carpets.




The museum ​also has a  large library that has a rich collection of specialized books and references covering a wide variety of topics like Islamic History, Antiquities, Art and Architecture.


For more information on the Islamic Art Museum click here