New Qatar museum to highlight local culture, heritage

March 29, 2010

Shaikha Mayassa - QNA

Qatar’s new national museum will help highlight the country’s culture and environment, Shaikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, chairwoman of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) Board of Trustees, has said.

The opening of the museum coincides with the celebrations of “Doha, Capital of Arab Culture 2010″ and marks a new step towards developing Qatar as a hub of culture and communications.

Abdullah Al Najjar, QMA chief executive officer, said that the project creates a 21st century experience that celebrates the culture, heritage and future of Qatar and its people, Qatar News Agency said.

Located at the south end of the Doha Corniche, the building takes the form of a ring of low-lying, interlocking pavilions that encircle a large courtyard area and encompasses 430,000 square feet of indoor space.

Though built around an historic structure, the Fariq Al Salatah Palace, which had served as a museum of heritage since 1975, the National Museum of Qatar is conceived and designed as a thoroughly new institution.

The building will provide 86,000 square feet of permanent gallery space, 21,500 square feet of temporary gallery space, a 220-seat auditorium, a 70-seat food forum, TV studio, restaurants and a museum shop. Staff facilities include a heritage research centre, restoration laboratories, staff offices and collection processing and storage areas.

According to designers, the National Museum of Qatar will be the setting for a programme in which entire walls become cinematic displays, “sonorous cocoons” shelter oral-history presentations and hand-held mobile devices guide visitors through thematic presentations of the collection s treasures.

The tilting, interpenetrating disks that define the pavilions floors, walls and roofs, clad on the exterior in sand-colored concrete, suggest the bladelike petals of the desert rose, a mineral formation of crystallized sand found in the briny layer just beneath the desert s surface


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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