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28 March 2019 10:08 am

National Museum of Qatar officially open; inaugurated by H.H. The Amir

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His Highness (H.H.) The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the opening ceremony of the National Museum of Qatar in its new building yesterday.

The ceremony was attended by Personal Representative of H.H. the Amir, His Excellency (H.E.) Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, H.E Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani, H.E. Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and H.E. Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Vice President of the Republic of Turkey Fuat Oktay, H.E. Prime Minister of the French Republic Edouard Philippe, H.E. Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, H.E. Minister of Heritage and Culture of the Sultanate of Oman Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and H.E. Minister of State for International Culture at the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany Michelle Muntefering.

The ceremony was also attended by H.E. Former President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, H.E. Mayor of Rome in the Italian Republic Virginia Raggi, H.E. Adviser at Republic of Azerbaijan Souda Mohammed Aliev and a number of Their Excellencies the sheikhs, ministers and heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the State. In addition to a number of prominent figures in the field of politics, culture, art, media, and a number of heads of companies and international institutions, directors of museums, academics, film directors, celebrities and those interested in heritage sites from around the world.

Unofficial translation of H.H. the Amir's speech"

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
We are meeting today to open the new building of the National Museum of Qatar. The original building of the National Museum of Qatar was built in 1975 in the old palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani.
I would like to pay tribute to the initiative of H.H. the Amir Father to expand the museum and, above all, His Highness vision and launching a process in which modernity is integrated with our Arab and Islamic civilization and Qatari heritage.
The new building, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, is characterised by its innovative design based on a natural phenomenon caused by the formation of the sand known as the Desert Rose, which includes and surrounds the old palace.
The Desert Rose is called here in Qatar, "Qahuf".
Why building museums? We do not do this to store art collections, to showcase the past, but to enlighten the public in Qatar, residents and visitors, with our past, present and position in the world. The museum presents our formulation of our past, our environment and our experiences in the perspective of the present. It is therefore a formulation of our Arab-Qatari cultural identity, and museums are not repositories of the past, but our present is embodied in how we read our history and position within humanity in general.
Our people know that this museum and other museums that we built here are there for them, to visit, to form social relationships and to have a good time of discovery, reflection and dialogue.
Because of the rapid and spectacular urbanisation of this country, we are cautious in planning because we want to be part of the rapid technological progress and globalisation trends prevailing today in the world, not to resist them, but to preserve our values, morals and cultural identity that are open to development and progress.
The National Museum tells the story of our people. It also encourages the discovery of the nature of the country and its historical effects, economy and urban development, and much more. It provides a space to reflect on what Qatar has done and what it aspires to do.
By sharing this information with visitors, we want museums and other cultural institutions to create a climate of dialogue with ourselves and others, giving our people a wisdom voice in shaping our future.
The National Museum is the product of a collective work of many institutions and individuals, and represents what we are as a country characterized by open dialogue and cooperation in all fields.
Through our programs and educational exhibitions, we will add a great addition to Qatar's growing cultural landscape, including our university institutions, our pluralistic media, our national library, which contains a million books in its prestigious building opened last year, the annual book fair, as well as festivals and numerous artistic activities in Katara, old souks, art galleries, and many other institutions and initiatives.
Our goal is to build a knowledge-based economy and human development.
The economic model we offer and the richness of sport and culture are, in our opinion, the best indicator of the healthy growth of any country. The rich cultural scene has become an important economic component of tourism, enriching the visitor by adding culture to entertainment and relaxation.
Qatar is committed to the work programmes to host the 2022 World Cup - a celebration of sport, arts, culture and the spirit of the community with the solidarity and unity of all football fans and people of goodwill from all over the world. Today, we are laying another brick in the construction of our national development and civilization project, including the promise we made in 2010 to provide a wonderful tournament for the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar has made many achievements for the benefit of its citizens, in terms of quality of life, and in the fields of education, health, environment and others. It continues to welcome people from all over the world. Progress through diversity and tolerance remains at the core of our commitment to the development and nurturing of a harmonious and prosperous society of our lifestyle and our behavior guided by human values and fitness.
Qatar has become much stronger since June 2017. Its citizens and residents work together to build the country, strengthen the economy, maintain human dignity and defend the truth, get to know each other and exchange experiences, and most importantly, they exchange friendship and respect. Thus, I announced the opening of Qatar National Museum.