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'Syria Matters' Exhibition to Present Rare Antiquities and Works by Living Artists in Immersive Installation

  • DOHA, Qatar
  • /
  • September 23, 2018

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Home within Demonstration by Piotr Połoczański
courtesy of The Festival of World Cultures in Gdańsk
A Cavour vase
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
Home Within portrait by Piotr Połoczański
courtesy of The Festival of World Cultures in G...

The opening at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (Qatar Museums), of Syria Matters, the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind in the world, will be marked with two evenings of performances by internationally acclaimed Syrian artists.

On Thursday 22 November there will be a performance by Maias Alyamani, violinist, composer, producer, considered one of the foremost Arab artists of today.

On Friday 23 November renowned Syrian musician, Kinan Azmeh and Syrian Armenian artist, Kevork Mourad will present Home Within, a spectacular multi-media performance combining film and music.

Syria Matters, will run from 23 November 2018 to 23 November 2019. With innovative techniques to bring its various chapters to life, including 3D modelling and the use of sensory features such as sound and smell, the exhibition brings to life Syria’s extraordinary architectural and cultural heritage  so much of which has been tragically lost through the destruction of its fabled cities, Palmyra, Damascus and Aleppo.

The exhibition, co-curated by MIA Director Dr Julia Gonnella and Rania Abdellatif,  draws on the spectacular collections of the Museum of Islamic Art, shown alongside works from international partners including the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the Museum for Ancient Near East, Berlin; The Louvre, Paris; The Türk ve Islam Eserleri Museum, Istanbul and the British Library, London, cementing the role of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art as a hub of knowledge of world renown and marking the 10th anniversary of the museum, since its founding in 2008 as the first major public museum in the Gulf region.

As part of the exhibition installation, there will be a specially-designed immersive experience of several key sites such as the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus and the Citadel of Aleppo, giving visitors a unique experience of these remarkable locations. 
 
Among the rare treasures which will go on show are:

  • A bird of prey, sculpted in basalt, from the archaeological site of Tell Halaf in Northern Syria, dating from early 9thcentury BCE
  • A Palmyra relief with a camel, dating from the first half of 3rdcentury CE
  • Paintings from QM’s Orientalist Collection including “The Great Caravan at Palmyra” c 1785, Louis-François Cassas (1756-1827) and “Damascus” c 1860 by Edward Lear (1812-1888)
  • The so-called Cavour Vase, which is the most spectacular example of a very small group of richly decorated cobalt blue and purple enameled and gilded glass vessels made in Syria or Egypt in the late 13thcentury CE
  • A precious gilded blue flask made in the mid-12thcentury CE in or near what is today the Syrian city of Raqqa, situated on the Euphrates in the north-east of the country

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