Majestic art expo from Dresden opens at MIA
RAJESH MISHRA DOHA GRANDEUR, majesty and artistic perfection marks the world renowned ‘Dream of a King- Dresden’s Green Vault’ exhibition, which was inaugurated by Qatar Museums Authority Chairperson HE Sheikha al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani at the Museum of Islamic Art on Tuesday. The about three-month long exhibition, which is a follow up of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Qatar Museums Authority and Dresden State Art Collections will end on January 26 and is expected to attract about 18,000 visitors. As many as 68 artifacts dating back to the 16th and 18th centuries including exotic jewellery, sculptures, utensils and photographs of some rare objects made of a diverse range of things such as diamonds, gold and precious stones on the one hand and ostrich eggs, sea snail shells, coconuts and nephrite on the other, give the exhibition its distinctive character. Some of the prominent displays include an ostrich egg goblet designed by Elias Geyer, a small sword and scabbard made of nine big diamonds and 902 small diamonds, silver, gold and steel, curved shoe buckles made of rose cut diamonds and gilt, chain bottles made of ruby as well as sculpture of St George slaying the dragon and shell shaped dish among others. Some of the photographs that depict rare objects of Dresden’s Green Vault collection are a table clock made of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, garnets, turquoises and topaz, a golden coffee set made of gold, silver and precious stones and a replica of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s throne. Earlier, addressing a press conference the Director of the Museum of Islamic Art Aisha al Khater said that the artifacts were selected from a collection of 3000 artworks from Dresden’s State Art Collection, which is known both for its magnificence and artistic value. The MIA Director remarked, “The Museum of Islamic Art is pleased to host the Dream of a King – Dresden’s Green Vault exhibition in the temporary gallery at the Museum of Islamic Art as it is one of the oldest museums of Europe, which attracts over a million visitors every year. Several educational activities will also take place alongside the exhibition.” Al Khater added, “We are also in talks with Dresden’s State Art Collection for holding a similar exhibition of MIA’s collection in Dresden, Germany. Currently, we are studying the objects that would interest German viewers. The exhibition would be held at an appropriate time.” According to al Khater, the exhibition will open daily except on Tuesday and will have an entry fee of QR 25 for adults. However, the entry will be free for students and children under 16. The exhibition will open at 10.30 am on week days, 2 pm on Friday and 12 am on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, Sabine Freifrau von Schorlemer, State Minister, Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Arts, Dresden, Germany, said that the objective of the exhibition was not just to acquaint people with the richness of the museum but also tell them about the rich cultural heritage of Germany. The curator of the exhibition Prof Dirk Syndram said that the masterpieces including jewellery and objects made of amber and ivory, gemstone vessels and bronze statuettes spoke volumes about interpretation of art as a synthesis of wealth and absolutist power.