The Museum of Islamic Art Park will open on December 16, 2011, Qatar Museums Authority announced yesterday.
The park will host grounds for year-round activities including film screenings, sports events, storytelling programmes and art workshops.
Greg Tighe, the head of MIA Park, said the park would be more of a community facility that will promote the culture of arts and learning in the country.
The park is being constructed inside the Museum of Islamic art, right off the Corniche.
The crescent-shaped park, designed by Pei Partnership Architects of New York, will feature a steel sculpture by Richard Serra, an American minimalist sculptor and video artist.
Most people in Qatar prefer indoor activities due to the country’s hot climate. The architects of the park have taken this into consideration, officials said.
“We will try and schedule the activities in the evening,” said Aisha Al Khater, MIA Director.
When asked whether Qatar’s new recreational destination would bear any similarity to the Islamic Heritage Park in Malaysia, Greg Tighe said that although he was not aware of the Malaysian facility he hoped the MIA Park would be different.
The Islamic Heritage Park on Wan Man Island, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, consists of unique replicas of Islamic monuments such as mosques, minarets and palaces from around the world, along with Malaysia’s renowned Crystal Mosque.
Even though it will be a public park, MIA Park will not remain open 24 hours the whole week through.
“The timing restrictions have been planned because of the safety of the artefacts, and the safety of the public,” said Al Khater.
The architectural design of the park showcases lighted pedestrian pathways shaded by native palm trees, paddle boats for rent in a small cove in Doha Bay, along with two cafés and one kiosk which will offer souvenirs and other gift items. The officials refused to disclose the cost of the whole project.
“It will be a dynamic place of learning and exploration for children, families and art enthusiasts, with cultural, educational and recreational activities designed to attract one and all,” said QMA Chairperson H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. She added that the work by Richard Serra will serve as a beacon for the arts in Qatar.
Giving brief details about the Richard Serra’s sculpture, Al Khater said that it is not related to the Qatari heritage but it will compliment the work MIA has done so far. Park entrance is said to be free of charge.
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