Under the patronage of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch today announced the completion of the conservation of one of the Museum of Islamic Art’s (MIA) most significant artworks – a monumental stucco panel from Iran dating from the 12th Century, Saljuk dynasty.
The project was a partnership between the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and formed part of the bank’s global Art Conservation Project. Funding from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s largest supporters of arts and culture, supported the conservation of the stucco panel, and marked the first time a financial institution ever partnered with QM and MIA.
The panel, which features a compilation of the ’princely cycle’, detailing feasting, hunting, music-making and the enjoyment of nature in the traditions of Persianate art and culture, is now on permanent display in MIA’s permanent galleries. Conservation of the panel began in November 2012, and took almost 4 years to complete. The project was led by the curatorial and conservation departments at MIA, with additional support from an archaeological illustrator from the University of Pennsylvania.
Daniel Brown, Acting Director at the Museum of Islamic Art, said:
“We would like to thank Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their tremendous support in enabling us to conserve and restore the historical stucco panel. The panel is one of only three monumental stucco panels from the highly celebrated era of Islamic art history, and the much needed restoration of this iconic and important piece has enabled us to permanently display it to the public, for the enjoyment of residents and visitors in Qatar.”
Arshad Ghafur, President of Middle East North Africa at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who recently visited MIA to see the completed work, said:
“Recognising the importance of preserving cultural treasures for future generations, we launched our Global Art Conservation Project in 2010. We believe our programme to be particularly relevant in today’s troubled times, where countless symbols of local culture and heritage are eroding through decline, neglect, or turmoil. We are therefore delighted to continue our support of Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art and to help preserve heritage and tradition, not only in the Middle East, but around the world.”
The other two stucco panels are currently in North America: one in storage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the other belonging to a private collector. The panel at MIA has been scientifically and rigorously examined and conserved.
MIA is a leading museum of Islamic art and centre of education and learning in the arts of the Islamic world. An iconic feature of the Doha skyline, it represents the full scope of Islamic art from three continents spanning 1,400 years. The superb collections and extraordinary exhibitions make MIA a centre of knowledge and inspiration that illuminates the world of Islamic art, and contributes to spreading this wisdom.
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