Opening of the new Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Rising on its own island just off the city's newly developed esplanade, it is the centerpiece of an enormous effort to transform Qatar into an arts destination. The inaugural festivities Saturday, including a performance by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, attracted art world luminaries from around the globe... Seen from across the waters of the harbor, its massive sand-colored stone blocks have an ageless quality, like the Tunisian fortresses it is modeled after.
"The museum is an object," Pei said. "It should be treated as a piece of sculpture."
(text from the Herald Tribune)

click here visit the official website of MIA (Museum of Islamic Art, Doha) which was beautifully designed by Khatt Network members Ahmad Humeid and Hussein Alazaat from Syntax in Jordan. The site contains promising information about the museum and its programs and collections .

Pei'd Museum of Islmaic Art, Qatar (Karim Jaafar/Agence France-Presse) - Inaugural festivities for the architect I.M. Pei's Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. (Karim Jaafar/Agence France-Presse)

Feature from Al Jazerera English Artsworld program

The new Museum of Islamic Art, Doha is a truly inspirational project. The exceptional quality of the building design and location and the positioning of the new Museum as a catalyst for the development of Doha as a cultural and educational centre of excellence demonstrate the vision and commitment of the State of Qatar to the international cultural/museums sector.

The Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) will provide a stunning environment in which to showcase its extensive store of treasures from across the Islamic world. Designed by I.M. Pei, the Museum will have nearly 5,000 square meters of exhibition space available, in addition to generous education, conservation and presentation areas. The Museum plans to employ c.160 staff in a range of activities and it will form a centrepiece of Qatar’s strategy to become a tourist destination of choice. The Museum will in time join forces with four other national museums which will be built in the Doha Harbour area.

Construction of the Museum is now well advanced and the building is due to be completed by The Turner Group (the principle construction contractor) in the Summer of 2006. It is anticipated that the museum will be completed on-time and handed over on-schedule. There will then be an intense period of fitting out before the Museum opens in 2007.

The Museum is one of the most important and monumental building projects of its type in the world today. In architectural terms, it is one of the most distinguished modern buildings in the entire Middle East. It is a structure of exceptional quality, designed by one of the most important architects in the world and will house great treasures. It represents cultural, scholarly and artistic achievements at the highest possible level. This museum, along with the other museums planned to be constructed in the area, and in the context of the major educational reforms and new university establishments being supported by the Qatari authorities, will transform the State of Qatar into a centre of world-class educational excellence.

Role of the British Museum
The British Museum has been retained to work with the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage on the planning, opening and operation of the new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

— Text from: www.hays.com/jobs/mia/index.html