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Tribune News Network
QATAR Museums (QM) has announced the appointment of Dr Julia Gonnella as Director of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Qatar.
She joins the Museum from her previous post as Curator at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin.
Gonnella studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, where she gained her BA in Islamic Art and Archaeology (1986) and MA in Social Anthropology (1987), before being awarded her PhD in Islamic Studies and Social Anthropology at Eberhard-Karls-Universit'e4t, Tubingen in 1994.
She began her career as a student intern at the V&A Museum in London before joining the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin in 1994 as Assistant to the Chief Curator. She was appointed Curator of the Museum in 2009, where she has worked until her present appointment as director of the MIA in Doha.
Among the exhibitions she curated for the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon museum in Berlin are: Heroic Times A Thousand Years of the Persian Book of Kings (2011), Samarra Centre of the World, 2012 (2013), Masterworks from the Serail, The Albums of Heinrich Friedrich von Diez (2013), and How Islamic Art Came to Berlin: The Collector and Museum Director Friedrich Sarre (2015).
She has undertaken extensive archaeological fieldwork throughout her career. Starting as a student she worked on German excavations in Raqqa/Syria (1984-1989) and the Kuwaiti excavations in Bahnasa/Egypt (1985). Most notably, between 1996 and 2011 she co-ordinated the Syrian-German excavations of the Islamic Citadel of Aleppo, one of the Middle East's greatest treasures, tragically damaged in the Syrian Civil War.
Gonnella has written and edited numerous books and articles, and is a recipient of significant awards and Fellowships.
Gonnella said:"I am honoured to be given this opportunity to lead Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art, one of the world's great museums. With its peerless collection, and its signature building, the Museum has pioneered understanding and appreciation of Islamic art globally. Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to the study of the cultural history of the Islamic world. It is a lifetime's passion and commitment. I look forward to leading this unique institution into its second decade, building on its achievements and opening up new stories of the treasures of Islamic art."
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