A VIP Visit and Generous Support for the Museum für Islamische Kunst


The Museum für Islamische Kunst received a visit from HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majed Saud AlSaud from Saudi Arabia. Princess Lamia is the director of the independent foundation Alwaleed Philanthropies, which in the coming 10 years will support the museum’s planned permanent exhibition in the refurbished Pergamonmuseum, as well as education and outreach programs, cultural education in schools and the Multaka project.

The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Museum für Islamische Kunst has received a generous donation from Alwaleed Philanthropies, based in Riad (Saudi Arabia). The donation will support the departments of exhibition development and cultural education over a 10-year period. Alongside the acquisition of objects highlighting the collection’s connections to the contemporary world, the funds are to be put towards the future permanent exhibition in the refurbished Pergamonmuseum. Likewise, the development of new education and outreach formats is to be supported, and cultural education programmes in schools and in the museum are to be expanded. The multi-award-winning project Multaka – Museum as Meeting Point will also receive increased funding.

On the Donation

“In the fields of the protection of cultural assets, archiving and conservation, numerous projects and collaborative training programs have been set in motion. This donation from Alwaleed Philanthropies is indicative of our long-standing partnership building, particularly with Arab countries. We are delighted that the future of the Museum für Islamische Kunst’s important work is now secure, and can be further expanded”, said Michael Eissenhauer, Director-General of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

“For the Preussischer Kulturbesitz, working together with countries from the Islamic world has been an important element of our international cultural dialogues for years now. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Museum für Islamische Kunst is an active force in international efforts to protect cultural assets, and is highly engaged with the cultures of the sites of origin of the objects in its collection. We are pleased that thanks to Alwaleed Philanthropies from Saudi Arabia, we will be able to continue working to create cultural understanding through education”, said SPK President Hermann Parzinger.

Lamia Bint Majed Saud AlSaud, Director of Alwaleed Philanthropies, stressed: “Our goal with this project is to create cultural understanding through education, to provide children with increased educational opportunities that foster important experiences and steps for their on-going personal development. This project will not just complement the interreligious and intercultural work of AP, but also provides a direct tangent with the other focuses of AP, namely the empowerment of women and young people, community building and the provision of disaster aid. Additionally, we want to create synergies with our national initiatives.”

“We are happy to have found a partner in Alwaleed Philanthropies”, said Stefan Weber, Director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Museum für Islamische Kunst. “The foundation has made an open commitment to cultural and charitable causes, beyond the precarious political situation in the Middle East – and will continue this work in the future. In a world of growing populist and extremist tendencies, this kind of partnership has the potential to contribute to the strengthening of more open conceptions of ourselves and of cultural others – be it in the Middle East or in Europe.”

Alwaleed Philanthropies

The charitable foundation of the Saudi entrepreneur al-Walid ibn Talal based in Riad supports and initiates projects right across the world. It works together with a series of charitable and government organizations to combat poverty, promote women and young people, build communities, provide disaster aid and to create cultural understanding through education. With its partners, it aims to build bridges towards creating a tolerant and open world. To this end, it has supported academic centres at top universities in the United states, the Middle East and Europe, and donated to the Louvre in Paris. One of Alwaleed Philanthropies’ priorities in the coming years is supporting projects aimed at promoting women in Saudi Arabia and beyond. Turquoise Mountain is an example of an initiative in Saudi Arabia that is concentrated on improving the financial position of women. Using targeted funding, the project improves the economic independence of craftswomen.