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Sat 12 November 2011 - until further notice
From mid November 2011, the Department of the Islamic Orient will unveil its new permanent exhibition in newly renovated rooms purposefully allotted to its collection. Ethnographic collections from Islamic societies can now go on public display for the first time since the museum's opening in 1970, when it was called the Museum für Völkerkunde.
Spread over a total of 850 square metres in four exhibition rooms, 'Muslims' Worlds' takes a look at various topics that continue to play an important role in the way Muslims perceive themselves and others. Architectural structures, such as the richly decorated wall of a guest house from Afghanistan, serve as the living embodiment of various topics, for instance the gender-specific use of space and the convention, now hotly debated, whereby women are consigned to the private sphere and men to the public.
Magnificent artefacts from Turkestan, now Central Asia, go some way to answering questions as to what material cultural artefacts are able to tell us of the identity of the countries they originate from and what significance historical collections have for these societies now. The complex diversity of the Islamic religion, its orthodox and mystical aspects, as well as the phenomena of everyday religious practice are illustrated through a range of objects taken from various Muslim sources.
All areas of the exhibition include interactive media that give visitors the chance to experience more on the diverse topics and the social debates surrounding them.