Aga Khan Museum Premieres Exceptional Programming to Complement Landmark Exhibition Syria: A Living History

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Aga Khan Museum has joined with renowned international museums and collections to launch Syria: A Living History (opening October 15, 2016 and runs through February 26, 2017). This unprecedented partnership between seven institutional partners from around the world provides a wealth of insight into the country's unique and dynamic past and gives hope for the future.

"We are honoured that UNESCO has extended its patronage to this exhibition and its related programs. The Museum and UNESCO share a common goal – to protect, preserve, and promote Syria's remarkable cultural heritage. It is my hope that this initiative will provide the public with a glimpse into the amazing cultural diversity of its history," says Henry Kim, Aga Khan Museum Director and CEO.

Through both historical and contemporary art, as well as educational and on-stage programming by prominent Syrian scholars, musicians, and artists, the exhibition goes beyond the headlines to honour the artistic achievements of Syria's diverse peoples. During the exhibition, the Museum will host its second Annual Lecture, this time with a focus on Syria's exceptional architecture and its cultural and artistic heritage with Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums, Syrian Arab Republic. The Museum's recognized restaurant, Diwan, featuring stunning wall panels from late 18th-century Damascus, will offer special Syrian additions to its menu for the duration of the exhibition.

Additional programming highlights include:

  • An illuminating symposium on Syria's art and architecture (October 29, October 30)
    Co-organized with Professor Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT
  • Lectures with leading scholars (November 10, November 13)
    Featuring Dr. Ross Burns, historian and author of Monuments of Syria and Damascus
    A History
    , and Jens Hanssen, Professor of Arab Civilization, University of Toronto
  • Showcase performances with Syrian artists (October 29, November 26, November 27, December 11)
    With such artists as vocalist Lubana Al Quntar (Syria's first opera singer), composer Kinan Azmeh, and visual artist Kevork Mourad


The exhibition has been made possible by a partnership between major public and private institutions, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin; the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin; the Louvre, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Atassi Foundation, Dubai; and the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection, Toronto.

Syria: A Living History is curated by Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip, Aga Khan Museum and Professor Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, MIT, in consultation with historian Dr. Ross Burns. The Globe and Mail is Media Partner for the exhibition.

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum's mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage while often reflecting, through both its permanent and temporary exhibitions, how cultures connect with one another. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare site with the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding park was designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.

SOURCE Aga Khan Museum

For further information: For press inquiries please contact: Jackie Koffman, Holmes PR,, 1.416.628.5608; Arlene Madell, Aga Khan Museum,, 1.416.858.8735,, 1.416.646.4677; Jan Rothschild, Brunswick Group,, 1.646.506.5160

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