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
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