News Column

Salarjung Museum to have separate section on Islamic Art

June 20, 2014

AFTAB H. KOLA/Our Correspondent

Hyderabad: The recent surge in interest in Islamic art and artefacts has kindled the Hyderabad's famous Salarjung Museum to separately house a section on Islamic Art.

Work is going on in full steam and The Islamic Art Gallery is expected to  be completed in one year's time.

Speaking exclusively to Times of Oman, Nagender Reddy, director of the Salarjung museum, said:  "The Islamic Art section to be housed on the second floor of the Far Eastern building in the Salarjung Museum  will exhibit all  the Islamic-related collectibles that are showcased in different galleries of the museum.

Splendour  of Islam

"It will take visitors on a  journey across space and through time, encouraging visitors to explore   bygone splendour  of Islam."  Spanning an area of 20,000 sqft, the museum will have a collection of Islamic jades, rosaries, manuscripts, textiles,  rare copies of the Holy Quran, ancient Islamic manuscripts, arms and ammunitions, prayer rugs, carpets, ewers,  ceramics, etc.

Manuscripts in this part of the collection would include the oldest folio of the Holy Quran on parchment in the Kufi script dating to the ninth century representing rare calligraphy work.

The miniature Holy Quran measuring two cm. by three cm. printed in 31 folios is a feast for the eyes. All these will be shifted to the new gallery. Salarjung museum, a veritable treasure trove of rare books, manuscripts, artefacts, and other stuff, will be the first museum in India to have an exclusive Islamic gallery. The Islamic Gallery will showcase 365 copies of the Holy Quran in Kufi, Naskh, Nataliq, Raihan and Thulth scripts.

The Salarjung Museum library has more than 56,000 books and around 9,000 manuscripts in different languages.

Visitors will now be able to see all of the 2,600 Arabic manuscript collection, 4,800 Persian, 1,000 Urdu, 25 Turkish and nearly 1,400 lose panels of calligraphy at one place. The museum authorities is also planning  to shift the Egyptian and Syrian collections and the 200-odd rosaries to the new gallery and the archer rings of the Mughal king, Shahjahan, which are in dark green jade will find place in the Islamic art gallery.

At present, the museum artefacts are categorised as Indian art, Middle Eastern art, European and Far Eastern collection.

Aftab H. Kola/Our Correspondent

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Source: Times of Oman

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