Islamic treasures to be displayed in Seoul

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) -- Treasures from a world-renowned collection of the Kuwait royal family will be displayed to the South Korean public in a special exhibition set to open this week by the National Museum of Korea.

Titled "Art From the Islamic Civilization," the exhibition on July 2-Oct. 20 will offer locals a rare glimpse at 1,000 years of Islamic art.

The 367 artifacts on display were carefully selected from the "al-Sabah Collection," the private collection of Princess Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah and her husband, according to the museum.

One of the greatest private collections of Islamic art in the world, the al-Sabah Collection includes 30,000 pieces that the couple have collected since 1970 and is currently on permanent loan to the State of Kuwait.

"The exhibits encompass a wide spectrum of period and space, ranging from the 8th to 18th centuries and from Spain to China," the museum said in a statement on Thursday. "This is the first massive exhibition of Islamic artwork presented in South Korea. It is also remarkable for its size, variety and value of artifacts on display."

The exhibition displays essential artistic elements within Islamic art such as calligraphy, geometric ornamentation and arabesque stylization found in priceless works. Visitors can also see engraved ceramics, metalwork, textiles, glasswork and jewelry from the rich and varied cultures of Islamic societies around the world and throughout history.

Kuwait's Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah al-Salem al-Humoud al-Sabah will attend the opening ceremony on Monday to deliver a congratulatory message from the king, the museum said. It added Princess Hussah, the co-owner of the al-Sabah Collection, will also take part.

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