Shatr AlMasjid: The Art of Orientation is a major exhibition that explores the historical meaning, evolution and function of mosques, their interiors and their artifacts.
Through unprecedented and international partnerships, The Art of Orientation brings together the largest collection of Islamic masterworks ever displayed in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition features several pieces originally from the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Medina on loan from the National Museum in Riyadh, 84 works from the Museum of Islamic Arts in Cairo under the direction of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, and 34 objects from Ithra’s collection.
The Art of Orientation examines – in terms of social, religious and art history – how mosques have served not only as places of worship but also as community centers with diverse functions.
The objects on display include a minbar, mihrab niches, calligraphic works, prayer rugs, mosque lamps and Qur’anic manuscripts. The exhibition also presents high-quality Ithra-commissioned models of mosques from around the world – chosen either for their role in the evolution of the mosque or because they represent the cultural diversity of mosque architecture. These include structures from Indonesia, China, Mali, Syria, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Egypt and the original Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
Ithra has also created five virtual-reality walkthroughs of mosques for the exhibition, including the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Medina.
The Art of Orientation opened in February 2021 and runs through 2022.
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