Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) received yesterday a high-level Libyan delegation led by Dr. Aref Nayed, Libyan Ambassador to the UAE, accompanied by an elite group of thinkers, literary figures and artists from the Libyan Ministry of Culture.
The delegation was received at the Sharjah Art Museum by Manal Ataya, SMD Director General, and a number of SMD directors. The delegation was taken on a tour of a number of museums in Sharjah.
The visit reflects the delegation's interest in identifying the role of the Sharjah Museums Department and Sharjah Art Museum, as well as in familiarizing itself with SMD's vision for Sjarjah as a capital of culture and arts at local, Gulf, Arab and international levels, as well as learning about the experience and policies adopted by the Department to preserve the emirate's historical heritage.
The guests were taken on a tour of the Sharjah Art Museum where they viewed the museum's prestigious collections, and then visited the exhibition "Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist" which comprises 80 works spanning over five decades of the artist's career.
The delegates were briefed on the educational programmes and workshops organized by the museum on the sidelines of exhibitions and workshops involving school and university students as well as male and female teachers, in addition to authors and activists in cultural and art arenas, in order to enhance the culture of arts in the community.
On another leg of its tour, the delegation then headed to the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum in the Heritage Area where they visited the 5th edition of Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial (Universe) 2012, organized by the Directorate of Arts at the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, which is running over two months with the participation of 160 internationally renowned calligraphers from the UAE, Arab, Muslim and other countries showcasing more than 1000 works spanning both original and contemporary styles.
The guests toured all the various museums in the Heritage Area in Sharjah. Finally, the delegates were taken on a tour of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization where they toured the museum's six halls featuring 5,000 impressive masterpieces and precious artifacts on the history, culture and art of the Muslim world dating back to various Islamic ages spanning 1,400 years.
The delegates also visited the touring exhibition of ‘Owen Jones: Islamic design, Discovery and Vision’ from the Victoria and Albert Museum, described as a new window into the history of Islamic civilization and a precious opportunity for artists, thinkers, and intellectuals to get a deeper insight into the works of one of the greatest artists, an artist who was a leading light in the revolution of Islamic art’s impact on British design.
Expressing his gratitude for the visit, Libyan Ambassador Aref Nayed said : "the visit has contributed significantly to enhancing our knowledge about cultural and art activities in Sharjah and the ways followed to achieve the required objectives of creating a strong cultural environment in the emirate of Sharjah and other emirates."
He said the visit would help enhance the experiences and skills of officials in charge of Libya's heritage and historical work with regard to policies, mechanisms and plans that are supposed to be followed in order to preserve the Libyan historical heritage. The delegates expressed their admiration for the museum experiences in Sharjah and the collections of museums, as well as the activities and events organized by Sharjah Museums Department. They showed their great interest in boosting cooperation with the Department.
Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, said: "The visit of the Libyan ambassador and his accompanying delegation is very important as it recognizes the Museum's cultural value on the global level and the importance and quality of the services provided by the Department to the public."
Ataya expressed the Department's willingness to share its experiences and to familiarize the delegation with the work methods and policies adopted to achieve its goals.