As Saudi Arabia continues to develop its arts and culture sector, one local organization has gone beyond the Kingdom’s borders to support Islamic Art. Alwaleed Philanthropies has donated over 10.5 million US dollars to the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art.
These funds given by the charitable foundation of the billionaire Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal will go into supporting exhibitions and education, as well as to fund the permanent display of Islamic art at the Pergamon Museum after its renovation and the “Multaka” project, which trains Syrian and Iraqi refugees to work as museum guides for their countrymen.
Based in Riyadh, Alwaleed Philanthropies supports and initiates projects around the world, regardless of gender, race, or religion. It collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and the youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief, and create cultural understanding through education.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
The Berlin Museum of Islamic Art is housed in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin’s most frequented museum with more than 1 million visitors annually. The museum is undergoing extensive reconstruction work that is expected to end by 2026.
In a recent piece by The Art Newspaper, Stefan Weber, the director of the Museum for Islamic Art, explained that “[i]n a time of growing populist and extremist tendencies, such partnerships can help buttress open-mindedness in the way we view ourselves and others.”
According to a statement issued by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees Berlin’s museums, the funding will also “advance the development of new educational formats and further expand cultural education at schools and the museum,”