India: Salar Jung Museum to install Islamic art gallery in Hyderabad – News

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Famous custodian working to collect over 2,500 artifacts in one location by the end of 2022



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By Aftab H Kola

Posted: Sun Jan 9, 2022, 1:21 PM

Hyderabad’s famous Salar Jung Museum, which has the largest individual collection of antiques and art treasures in the world, sets up an exclusive gallery of Islamic art.

Over 2,500 rare Islamic objects currently on display in various parts of the museum as well as some that have never been displayed in public will find their place in this gallery. At present, these treasures of Islamic art are dispersed in various galleries within collections of Indian, Middle Eastern, European and Far Eastern art.

The exclusive Islamic Art Gallery will present all these forms of Islamic art in one place.

The Islamic art gallery was due to open much earlier, but work was affected due to Covid-19, and the unavailability of skilled labor only made the problem worse, said Dr A. Nagender Reddy, Director of the Salar Jung Museum, in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times. However, work has now been speeded up and the gallery will be ready to open by the end of 2022, he added.

The art collection of the Salar Jung Museum is so vast and varied that only three other museums in the world – the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum (both located in the UK) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York , – can compete with it. The Salar Jung Museum is the second revenue-generating museum in India, just after the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. The Islamic art gallery is expected to further increase its attendance.

The idea of ​​having an exclusive Islamic art gallery sprang up when no less than 413 Islamic artifacts from the Salar Jung Museum became the center of attraction during the “Glimpses of Courtly Splendor”, an exhibition of Indian Islamic art held. in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, in 2009.

Spread over 26,000 square feet on the second floor of the museum’s east block, the Islamic Art Gallery will feature items such as swords, ceramics, bulletproof vests, manuscripts, Persian rugs, copies of the Holy Quran. , celestial globes, astrolabes, textiles, jades, porcelain and glass objects with Koranic inscriptions and much more. While most of the artefacts relate to Islam, some also have ties to Muslim kings and nobles, poets, writers, and historians. Among the objects that will be a feast for the eyes are the oldest folio of the Koran on a parchment in Koufi script belonging to the 9th century, a copy of the Holy Quran from the 13th century, 365 copies of the Quran in Koufi, Naskh scriptures, nastaliq, raihan and thuluth, six astrolabes and celestial globes, salient emblems of Muslim science, a stand of miniature books (rehal) in jade bearing the name of Shams ud-Din Iltutmish (the ruler of the Delhi sultanate belonging to the Mamluk dynasty ), a fruit knife with a jade handle and inlaid with precious stones belonging to Queen Nur Jahan, archer’s rings of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, which are in dark green jade, and autographed manuscripts with the seal and the signature of Mughal emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb.

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