Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has launched a first-of-its-kind exhibition showcasing more than 100 objects and artifacts of Islamic art and mosque culture.
The “Shatr AlMasjid: The Art of Orientation” exhibit features 116 elements, artworks, and motifs from around the world with the aim of “expand[ing] the public understanding of how the social, religious and cultural functions of mosques have developed over the centuries,” Ithra said.
The exhibit also offers a virtual reality tour of mosques from around the world, allowing visitors to experience live scenes from different places of worship, including the Masjid Al Haram in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
Contributions from Arab and international speakers including researchers, poets, artists, scholars and historians are also available.
The “Art of Orientation” exhibit also explores how mosques used to function as clinics and schools in the past, and presents centuries-old prescriptions, medical books, and practice writing tablets.
The exhibition is considered to be the first of its kind in the Kingdom in terms of its theme, method of presentation, and the diversity of artifacts related to mosques, according to Ithra.
The showcase “aims to make a positive and tangible impact on the individual and society, through several innovatively designed aspects based on the cultural, artistic and cultural scenes of the mosques,” Ithra said.
The exhibition is open until April 12 at Ithra.
Located in Dhahran in the Eastern Province, the center is as an all-purpose cultural hub that was founded by Saudi Aramco.
Ithra hosts several events throughout the year including theater performances, musicals, film screenings, workshops, and cultural events.