Rashidah Salim (ITP 2016, Malaysia) introduces the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World
Rashidah Salim (ITP 2016) Senior Executive Assistant to the Director, Syed Mohamad Albukhary, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Three years ago, the Albukhary Foundation came to an agreement with the British Museum to sponsor a new gallery of Islamic art at the British Museum. When I joined the ITP in 2016, representing the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (fully managed by the Albukhary Foundation), I was able to view the location of the new gallery and also came to know BM staff from various departments. Being at the BM myself and having the opportunity to get to know so many staff certainly made my work related to the setting-up of the new gallery much easier.
A lot of meetings and discussions took place for the development of the new gallery, including a visit from British Museum Director, Dr Hartwig Fischer, to the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. As the new gallery, the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World, started to take shape matters concerning the logistics of objects, budget, publicity, retail of publications and launching events were discussed in detail between both parties. Two private receptions took place in the gallery before the official opening to the public on 18 October 2018. We were honoured to receive a visit from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, to the gallery on 30 September 2018.
The collaboration between the British Museum and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia was not only an exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise between both institutions but a historical cultural exchange between two countries, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Let us share the official remarks from the Prime Minister of Malaysia and HRH the Prince of Wales for the opening of the gallery.
We at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia hope that visitors to the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will gain a deeper understanding of Islam and enjoy this masterfully crafted collection of Islamic history and art in the heart of London.
As for ITP alumni, please do visit the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World when you next visit London.