I.M.Pei's Museum of Islamic Arts
Qatar is known for many things, one of which will definitely be its lavishness. This is a country that loves glitter, shine and can’t do without shopping.
When the Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) opened on the 22nd of November 2008, arguably the most talked about fact was that it was designed by the world famous architect I.M.Pei who also designed the most popular glass and steel pyramid structure for the Louvre museum in Paris.
The Museum of Islamic Arts is quite an eye catching place. Housing many different types of arts and crafts, a stunning collection of priceless gems and jewelry, richly woven carpets and silk, beautifully painted ceramic ware and glass, the museum is a must-visit destination in Qatar.
It also holds a classy French Mediterranean restaurant, a gift and a souvenir shop and even a library that has many rare books on Islamic arts and crafts.
The museum also maintains a park called the “MIA Park”. Well known for the open bazaar held here that reflects the old souq tradition, these bazaars sell different kinds of food, handmade and homemade jewelry, clothing, souvenirs and etc.
Anybody can book a stall in the open bazaar of MIA Park. However, all outdoor events and the bazaar are closed at the moment due to the intolerable heat and will resume in October.
Towering at the end of the MIA Park pier, is the “7” sculpture. Designed by the American artist Richard Serra, this 80 foot high sculpture is Serra’s tallest art work.
If you have not still been to the Museum of Islamic Arts or its Park, then it’s high time that you pay it a visit. However, before you go make sure that the museum and the park are open. Their website www.mia.org.qa will provide details about the opening hours.
The MIA is a great building. IM Pei used the design for his earlier work, the Suzhou Museum in China, as the basis of his design. The MIA is basically a much larger and grander (but still almost identical) copy of this building. There were some people who originally tried to claim IM Pei was inspired by Islamic design, but sadly this isn't quite true. He just copied his Chinese Museum.
Doha is lucky to have such a nice building.
I am in Qatar for ages now but I have not seen this “7” sculpture. Shame on me :(
As they say - "Art is subjective". I like going to art galleries and love sculpture. MIA is a great place, superb design but I just cannot relate to the "7" sculpture :O(