The Modern Art Iraq Archive (MAIA) was made public this week. MAIA started as the result of a long-term effort to document and preserve the modern artistic works from the Iraqi Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad, most of which were lost and damaged in the fires and looting during the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. As the site shows, very little is known about many of the works, including their current whereabouts and their original location in the Museum. The lack of documents about modern Iraqi art prompted the growth of the project to include supporting text. The site makes the works of art available as an open access database in order to raise public awareness of the many lost works and to encourage interested individuals to participate in helping to document the museum’s original and/or lost holdings…
Via Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR).
Iraq’s National Museum is expected to reopen in March, for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s rule. Although the Assyrian and Islamic displays were reinstalled in two main rooms in 2008, they have only been accessible to VIPs and invited groups. “It will be the answer to my dreams when we can finally reopen to the public,” said Amira Edan, the museum’s director.
Discussion of an international tour of Iraqi antiquities is also underway. Chicago’s Field Museum is mentioned in the above article as a potential host for the tour.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established in 1977 to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture as expressed through architecture. The 19 nominees for the 11th cycle have been announced. The nominees, which include a textile factory in Turkey, a school built on a bridge in China and a wetlands project in Saudi Arabia, will be competing for the prestigious award. Visit the Award’s website for more information about the 19 nominees. You can also download high resolution images of each nominated building.
“Through a new collaboration among Islamic-studies scholars, librarians, and curators, Harvard University has cataloged, conserved, and digitized Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts from its renowned library and museum collections. The result is a new online collection comprising more than 145,000 digital pages available to Internet users everywhere.”
The collaboration, known as the Islamic Heritage Project, includes materials that date from the 13th to the 20th centuries CE and include various regions, languages, and subjects. More informaton about the scope and content of the project is available here.