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Posted On: 17 August 2014 08:33 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

10 Interesting Facts about the new National Museum of Qatar

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For all art fanatics like me; there is a new fantastic museum in the making in sight! Many of you have probably heard of it, driven past the construction works that still resemble a crazy, messed up roller coaster. But what the new National Museum will be like and what it will feature might be something you don’t know. Here are 10 interesting facts about the museum in Qatar that exceeds the usual exhibition and museum experience.

1. Objective of the Museum- Heritage meets Innovation

Behind the new National Museum of Qatar lies a clear purpose; building the bridge between Qatar’s heritage and its rapid development and modernization. It emphasizes the proud local culture in its beauty in the process of embracing the modern and high-tech aesthetics of the West. Thus the National Museum of Qatar will be the official voice of Qatar’s past and celebration of the country’s bright future, which shall be filled with amazing art.

2. The Designer of the National Museum of Qatar

Jean Nouvel is his name and he is a Pritzker Prize-, Gold Medal for the French Academy of Architecture-, Aga Khan Award for Architecture-, and Praemium Imperiale-winning architect. Nouvel designs buildings in the Western and Middle Eastern states such as Abu Dhabi, and has in 1987 designed the Arab World Institute in Paris, which is a modern building featuring Islamic and Arab motifs in its architecture. The unique works of the architect are acts of cultural synthesis and interpretation, and the National Museum of Qatar is supposed to be his most poetic one so far.


3. The architecture of the museum is inspired by the desert rose

You may have seen pictures on the web, and if not then you shall gain a peek into what it will look like here. The constructions you see driving past the cornice and the Orient Pearl restaurant will eventually develop into sand-colored discs that intertwine, interlock and are assembled in different positions and angles. This stunning architectural creation in itself makes the new National Museum a special sight to see. The steel structures are clad in glass fiber reinforced concrete panels and in between these discs are glazed facades. But what is the metaphor behind the architectural appearance? It is inspired by the desert rose that blooms just above the surface of the sand close to the sea. The design conveys many messages including the beautiful metamorphosis caused by opposites colliding. The desert rose crystalizing between the sea and the desert, like Qatar developing and growing between culture and tradition and modernity and technology. It captures Qatar’s unique identity.

4. Who is the director of the New National Museum?

HE Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani is the head of National Museums Authority in Qatar, and in November 2013 Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim Al-Thani was appointed director of the new National Museum of Qatar. She will provide curational and managerial leadership for the museum and supervise initiatives the National Museum seeks to take for educational purposes and activities.


5. The exhibitions and collections the Museum plans to feature sound amazing and insightful

The museum will definitely have enough space with its 86,000 square feet of permanent gallery space, 21,500 square feet of temporary gallery space. The galleries will have three interrelated themes to emphasize Qatar’s identity; natural history of the Qatar and the plant and animal world in the desert; the history of Qatar’s society and culture; Qatar as a nation, from the 18th century to the dynamic present. Objects in the collections are currently over 8,000 pieces and also contain archeological artifacts. Tents, textiles and fishing boats are possibly part of the museum’s interior presentation to bring the early life in the desert a little bit closer to us.

6. The museum will show many cinematic displays

Replicating the experience in the desert is one of the ideas behind these cinematic displays that are audio visually shown. These displays will take up entire walls in the museum, which will add to its unique exhibition experience.


7. The tours for exhibits

Tours take you part chronologically, part thematically through the museums, or through one of the temporary exhibits, that will further our knowledge of Qatar’s heritage and roots.

8. There’s even more to see and do in the museum

Apart from seeing the exhibitions and collections, the museum offers on large space, there are a 220-seat auditorium, a 70-seat food forum, a TV studio, two cafés, a restaurant and a museum shop. All these are for you to visit and relax in after visiting an exhibit. The cafés will give you space for you and your friends or family members to process the new impressions and discuss ideas, artists and concepts.


9. What about the Garden?

Right, there is also a garden around the museum for you to see. In the garden you will be able to sit in the sitting areas designed for visitors around native grasses, and other local plants such as the pomegranate tree, date palms, herbs and the Sidra tree that is also the national tree of this country. Other than that will you be able to have the beautiful sand dunes, which you might know from visits to the desert cruising with your car, right in the desert. If this is not enough you can still take part in programs created for the garden or take a garden tour. Doesn’t it sound lovely sitting in a big desert garden in the mild winter days of Qatar?

10. When can we finally go for the opening of the museum?

If you are now wondering when you can finally go see all that the new National Museum of Qatar has to offer, you will have to wait a little longer, as Qatar Museums Authority recently announced that the museum is expected to open in 2016. But we will keep you updated and let’s be honest; it sounds like it’s going to be worth the wait.