Museum of Islamic Arts - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
CAIRO – 26 April 2018: The Museum of Islamic Art, MIA, holds one of the world’s admirable collections of Islamic art and is Egypt’s most attractive museum. The museum consists of unique wood work, plaster artifacts, Islamic era glass, metal, crystal pieces, ceramic and textiles from all around the world. MIA holds the largest collection of Islamic Art in the world and is considered to be the biggest and oldest Islamic museum in the world. There are over 100,000 artifacts found in the museum. The pieces belong to different periods; Fatimid, Ottoman, Mamluk, Qajar, Umayyad, Muhammed Ali Dynasty and many more.
Holy Quran, Egypt - Umayyad 8th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
Many of the exhibited items were gathered from Arab and non-Arab countries, and from people who have sold or donated their items to the museum. The displayed products date back to the beginning of the Islamic era until the time of Mohamed Ali’s family.
Panel of marble decorated with Arabic inscriptions, 'In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate', 'Basmallah' 15th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
The idea of building MIA goes back to about 1880, when the authorities in Egypt decided to collect all the valued pieces of the Islamic art from various mosques, governorates such as Aswan and Luxor, and from many other places. Later on, the government stored all the collected items in Al Hakem Mosque in Al Moez Street, El Hussein district in Cairo.
Ewer made of copper decorated in enamel and gold, Iran - Qajar 19th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
Afterwards the antiques were displayed in a small museum that was established in the courtyard of Al Hakem Mosque. The museum was called the House of Arabian Antiquities.
Wooden door with silver plating, Egypt - Muhammed Ali Period 19th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
The items were displayed in that museum until the year 1903 when the construction of the museum was done. It was officially opened for the public on Dec. 28, 1903. After the Egyptian revolution in 1952, the museum has been renamed to the Museum of Islamic Art.
Wormer of painted wood decorated with ceramic tiles, Egypt - Ottoman 17th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
MIA was heavily damaged in a car-bomb explosion in 2014. After renovations, the artistic building was reopened in 2017. The explosion destroyed about 179 pieces in the museum, 169 of which were completely finished while the rest were carved in glass and repairing them wasn’t enough.
A shoe, bracelets, necklaces, and a belt some are inlaid with precious stones, others with silver, Egypt - Muhammed Ali Dynasty 19th Century - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
The museum is located in Bab el Khalq Square opposite the Directory of Cairo’s Security and near Abdeen Palace.
Gold coins during Muhammed Ali Dynasty - Egypt Today/Mariam Mosleh
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