Posted on May 18, 2013

Every year since 1977, International Museum Day is held around the world on May 18 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.

This year Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Qatar, one of the country’s most fascinating heritage centres housing wide-ranging collections from Islamic cultural artifacts to vintage cars, is joining more than 30,000 museums to celebrate the event in around 100 countries on five continents.

On International Museum Day 2013, ICOM is partnering with the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012. ICOM and Memory of the World, which is dedicated to world documentary heritage, share a common vision of safeguarding heritage for the benefit of society and the potential of its digitization for the future.

H.E. Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani, collector and owner of Faisal Bin Qassim Museum, commented: “International Museum Day serves as a reminder of the significant role that museums play by keeping alive the past’s history, culture and traditions for the next generation to learn and draw from, thus enriching and influencing society in a positive way. This year’s theme of Social Change underlines the relevance of museums today.”

(Click here to read Sheikh Faisal's speech)

An important bridge to the next generation is the brand new Museum website, which presents the museums’ awesome collections and exhibits in mesmerizing detail with stunning photography, fully explained and documented at: A new logo has added a contemporary touch to this important center for Islamic culture, arts and heritage.

Sheikha Al Anood Bin Faisal Al Thani, Vice-Chair of Board of Trustees of Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum commented:“Recently we launched the first ‘Travelling Museum Exhibition in the Middle East, showcasing the rich heritage of the Islamic art of Calligraphy, entitled “The Beauty of Words” at the American University of Sharjah and received a rapturous reception from students, alumni and the University.  The aim was to empower and expose students to some of the most distinguished and unique artworks and reflect our mission to encourage cultural exchange and promote history and art.”

Later this year the Museum is donating important pieces to the British Museum in London to exhibit in October as part of the Qatar/ UK Year of Culture 2013.  The Museum’s second Travelling Exhibition will thus be on show in the UK’s top tourist attraction that receives over 6 million visitors a year.

Sheikha Al Anood Bin Faisal Al Thani continued: “Opening up the Museum to the next generation of schoolchildren is something planned for this winter, to raise their awareness of history and culture and experience the past.  It is an environment that holds so much that students can learn from and we hope to create a programme of interactive School Visits that encourage them to draw and paint their impressions at the Museum.”

One of Qatar’s leading entrepreneurs, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani is regarded as a key player in promoting the heritage and culture of Qatar. Sheikh Faisal pioneered the establishment of a heritage venue to revive public interest and appreciation of local culture. Today the Museum exposes the beauty of Qatar’s past and the Islamic world to visitors from all over the world.

In 2012, Sheikh Faisal was awarded a new and well-deserved title, “Heritage Personality of the Year”, for noteworthy achievements in heritage preservation organized under the patronage of the League of Arab States. 

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