23 Oct Millenarium collection of Islamic Art from Kuwait at Palazzo Reale in Milan. Photo and Video
For the first time in Italy Al-Sabah collection of treasures. In the 350 unique objects are thousand years of history of Islamic art in the exhibition “Arts of the Islamic civilization” at Palazzo Reale, from October 21 to January 30, 2011.
“Opens today at the Palazzo Reale exhibition that fits fully in a large project to understand and explore the different cultures in our city – said mayor Letizia Moratti. Because culture is not only enriches us but it is a tool that could lead to greater understanding among peoples. While, in fact, it is important to preserve and enhance its own history, tradition and identity of the other, know each other better is open to the cultures of the world going to take influences and connections between different civilizations. ”
Created by the City of Milan, in close collaboration with the State of Kuwait, the exhibition “The Art of Islamic civilization – The Al Sabah collection” traces a thousand years of history of Islamic art, with a rich variety chronologically from the seventh to the seventeenth century, geographical (from Spain to the Far East) and typological (carpets and textiles, fine metals, engraved, ceramics, sculptures, miniatures, jewelry and precious objects made of ivory). The Curator of the Exhibition is Giovanni Curatola, a professor of archeology and history of the Islamic University of Udine and Milan.
An important project made possible thanks to the confidence that the State of Kuwait has allocated to Milan is the first step in an international tour. The exhibition will travel, in fact, at a time in Austria, Canada and Korea.
A tour around the world that will precede the creation of a new art museum in the Kuwait will host a definitive collection Al – Sabah. In July 1975, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah showed his wife, Sheikha Hussah Selim Sabah al-Sabah, the first work of Islamic art, a beautiful glass bottle glazed Mamluk period of the fourteenth century, bought during a trip .
From there began an adventure that led the Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah Al Sabah to seek and collect. In eight years of hard work, some 20,000 works, including several masterpieces, but also numerous items of great interest.
In 1983, during the National Day of Kuwait, Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah, they offer to their country and the world, the priceless gift of the permanent collection of the loan (called Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya, “House of Antiques Islam “) the National Museum of Kuwait in a separate wing which will house 1200 great works of Islamic art can provide a view of almost complete – and the highest level like the most popular and historical collections worldwide: Berlin, Cairo, Copenhagen, Damascus, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Tehran – the artistic experience of Islam.
On 2 August 1990, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq: the war begins that takes the destruction of the collection. Kuwait, marked by an enormous tragedy and never forgotten. In the meantime, part of the collection dedicated to the specific area of Indian jewelry has been admired by audiences around the world through the extraordinary exhibition entitled the Treasury of the World. Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals, traveling for almost ten years, with wonderful examples of excellent quality and great variety, some of which will be exhibited at the Royal Palace.
Today, the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah under the passionate leadership of Sheikha Hussah Al Sabah is a prestigious world-class scientific institution, known for its activities in the cultural field with lectures by leading specialists in the field, often of international renown. The collection now is about 26,000 works.
The exhibition is divided broadly into two parts: the first half consists of a chronological divided into four stages, from the early sixteenth to the three great empires, the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals. The second part explores some issues which cut across the Islamic art in the special sections devoted to calligraphy, the geometric decoration, the arabesques and figurative art, the latter to disprove the cliché of an alleged Islam iconoclasm. Closing the show set up a section devoted to jewelry and because the collection is justly famous for these works is to give the public a final visual spectacular triumph. A small selection of coins – a coin collection of impressive breadth and value – was ultimately designed to help you memorize a simple and essential history.
In the halls of Palazzo Reale parade so large and small objects of extraordinary beauty and refinement from the pages of the Quran to those wonderful paintings of books and manuscripts, beautifully illuminated, with capitals in marble with inscriptions in ivory boxes decorated with birds and plants, from pitchers bronze vases glass enamel colors and designs sparkling magnificently decorated wool carpets and beautiful fabrics in velvet and silk, from beautiful ceramic plates and cups decorated with spectacular necklaces and bracelets of gold, diamonds and precious stones or knives jade set with rubies and emeralds, from the wooden cabinet doors decorated with tombstones with inscriptions, and even chess in rock crystal.