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Visit by His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud

02.06.2010
Pergamonmuseum

After being invited by the Governing Major of Berlin, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, brother to the King, Governor of Riyadh, and one of the most important decision-makers in Saudi Arabia, visited Berlin and the Pergamonmuseum on the Museum Island. Stefan Weber, director of the Museum of Islamic Art, conducted a tour of the exhibition for him in Arabic. The Prince was accompanied by six of his sons and a delegation from various scientific and cultural institutions in Berlin (the German Archaeological Institute's Orient Department, the Akademie der Künste and the Zentrum Moderner Orient), as well as members of the Deutsch-Arabische Freundschaftsgesellschaft, an organisation for intercultural dialogue between Germany and the Middle East.

Prince Salman viewed the testaments of Islamic culture from diverse epochs with extreme interest and expressed his amazement at the collection on more than one occasion. He was also demonstrably delighted to see that the large exhibition was so popular with the public and stopped for a few minutes to talk with museum visitors. After signing his name in the guest book in front of the magnificent ruins of the Mshatta caliphate palace, the Prince, himself an important promoter of education and the sciences, took the opportunity to say a few words about the possibility of working with the Museum of Islamic Art in the future.

The Museum of Islamic Art in the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin ranks as one of the most important and oldest collections of Islamic art anywhere outside the Islamic world. The sole museum of its kind in Germany, it is also unique in the world in that it houses masterpieces of handicraft not just by Islamic peoples, but also by various Christian and Jewish communities living among them. The artworks on show are of a highly aesthetic and technical standard that belies great craftsmanship. Together, they display an enchanting array of colours, forms and patterns. Among them are examples of all kinds of artistic genres, including architectural objects of the utmost value. The collection covers all epochs of Islamic history from the 7th to the 19th century as well as Ancient South Arabian and Ancient Persian art works.