Salarjung Museum Art Gallery Will Be World’s Largest Cradle of Islamic Legacy and Heritage | Hyderabad News
Once ready, it will be the first of its kind in the East, which is incidentally the cradle of religions, philosophies and spiritual discourse. Currently, there are only two major Islamic art galleries in the world – both located in Europe – Victoria Albert Museum and British Museum in the UK. The Metropolitan Museum in New York recently opened one.
The Islamic Art Gallery, which will be unveiled in the coming months, is gaining importance because even the cradle of Islamic civilization, Saudi Arabia, does not have such a gigantic collection of Muslim art and artifacts. Moreover, Iraq and Iran, which have played an important role in the development of Muslim spirituality, philosophy, art, architecture and calligraphy, do not boast of having such a collection. the one who goes up to Hyderabad.
Salarjung museum director Dr. A Nagender Reddy said TOI visitors will also have the opportunity to flip through pages of rare books via a digital display system. “We plan to maintain the collection on the Internet. They can be read, but not downloaded,” he said. When asked if the museum would offer DVDs of the collection, Dr Reddy said it would be a political decision as rare books and manuscripts are involved. “This is the largest collection made by an individual,” he said.
The gallery will revive the Islamic “touch” of Hyderabad, which it retained until eight decades ago. Incidentally, the Telangana government has proposed an Islamic center in Hyderabad. Together with the Islamic Art Gallery, the Islamic Center will attract tourists from around the world, especially Muslim-majority countries, said Syed Zakir Hussain, a member of the Salarjung Museum’s board of trustees.
According to an official note from the Salarjung Museum, “the art collection represents an exceptional legacy in terms of its sophistication and the stories it tells of Hyderabad’s historical position and ties”. In fact, the idea of an exclusive gallery at the Salarjung Museum was launched in 2009 when the museum held an exhibition – Glimpses of the Courtly Splendor of Indian Islamic Art in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. However, it took another three years to materialize, and another five years for the gallery to become a reality. In the Sharjah Museum, only 43 Islamic art objects from the Salarjung Museum were exhibited.
The new gallery will, however, contain 2,500 Islamic pieces, which are rare and possess great ancient, historical, social, cultural and linguistic value. The gallery will span 26,000 square feet and be located within the premises of the Salarjung Museum. Not all exhibits are Islamic (religion). Many of them are related to kings, nobles, poets, historians, writers and Muslim kingdoms. Some items are unique because they are not available anywhere in the world. Exhibits range from textiles and rugs to porcelain and glass objects, and from swords to body armor. “The museum has a large collection of copies of the Holy Quran in different calligraphic and script styles including Kufi and Nastalik. No less than 365 rare copies of the Koran will be exhibited. There are also around 200 rosaries,” Zakir Hussain said.
Lead attorney M Zameeruddin suggests Salarjung Museum authorities should convince the Nizam Trust to loan rare collections for display at the Islamic Art Gallery. “Hyderabad is rich in Islamic heritage. It is also the shining example of the Ganga-Jamuni (Hindu-Muslim unity) tradition. based on Hindu and Muslim culture. Islamic artifacts in Hyderabad are scattered. They should be brought together under one roof for joint exhibition. In fact, a new building should be constructed to house all the collections, including those in private hands. said Zameeruddin.