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Art: Qatar’s Arabian Conquest

Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art

I. M. Pei’s latest creation, the Museum of Islamic Art (Corniche Rd., Doha; mia.org.qa), will open on November 22 with the aim of putting Qatar on the global cultural map. Pei’s angular, limestone-clad ziggurat-like structure rises dramatically from a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf. But the design takes a backseat to one of the world’s top collections of Islamic art: 700 masterpieces, whose origins range from Spain to India, including a 9th-century Iraqi earthenware bowl, a 10th-century brass astrolabe, and a 17th-century carved emerald amulet from India. The inaugural exhibition, “Beyond Boundaries—Islamic Art Across Cultures,” brings together artifacts from 20 leading institutions throughout the world.

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