Aylesbury exhibition will showcase ‘harmony, tranquility and versatility’ of Islamic art

Razwan Baig, a major lender to the Islamic exhibition in Aylesbury

Razwan Baig, a major lender to the Islamic exhibition in Aylesbury

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A spectacular exhibition of Islamic art and artefacts was unveiled for dignitaries at the County Museum.

A special event was held at the museum last week, and the great and the good of Buckinghamshire turned out to see what will be on show from March 26.

Artefacts include a rare 15th Century Qur’an from Northern India, a ceramic tile from the Mankuk period of Iraqui history between 1704 and 1831, and photographs by Pete Sanders.

Mr Sanders was famed for photographing the likes of The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, but in 1971 he went on a spiritual quest to India to capture a series of stunning images.

More than 500of the items were lent to the museum by local Islamic art collector Razwan Baig, who is passionate about Islamic art.

He said: “Today more than ever, art needs to be understood.

“Confusion is causing global misunderstandings. But I belive that art can build bridges between our cultural islands.

“Islamic art, much like Islam, can be opaque to many. Being an avid collector of Islamic art, I felt it was my duty to showcase the artisanal side of Islam through my humble collection and knowledge.

“People thrive where there is mutual respect. Civilisation is built on it, futures are better for it.

“Islamic art is based on harmony, tranquility and versatility of human knowledge.”

He added: “This exhibition will not only benefit the culture we are living in, but also spread the concept of freedom, peace and art around the world.

“Art is the fundamental medium between knowledge and imagination, this is why it is important to clarify what it really means to be a Muslim.

“I, and countless other Muslims have been taught from our earliest years that our religion demands respect and caring for others.

“The Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, said ‘none of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.’”

Richard de Peyer, of the Bucks County Museum said: “At the museum up until now we have been so monosyllabic, and have had no collaboration with the Islamic communities here in Bucks.

“We are the County Museum, and it is important that we represent that.

“We have also secured £50,000 from the Arts Council to support the exhibition, and events across the county around the subject of art in Islam. This will include everything from paintings, to music and calligraphy.”