By Aabida Dhanji
The Aga Khan Museum opened its doors to the public on Thursday in Toronto.
The Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslim community, officially opened the museum last Friday. He was joined by various members of Parliament and Ismaili representatives from around the world.
The museum is grouped in the city’s north end near a new Ismaili centre and park, which connects the two buildings.
The museum features various exhibits from paintings to Islamic scriptures to sculptures from around the world.
There are currently three exhibitions open at the museum.
The first floor has the permanent museum collection and the second floor features the temporary exhibitions, which are, In Search of the Artist and The Garden of Ideas.
A member of the Aga Khan Museum communications team said, “In Search of the Artist dispels the misconceptions that Muslim artists were not signing their paintings”
Beside that there is The Garden of Ideas exhibit, which is contemporary and features six Pakistani artists’ work in the form of paintings, video, photography, and textiles, she said.
Khatija Didarali came to the museum with her family and said she was very excited to see the museum.
“I am very proud to be one of the followers of the Aga Khan and be able to have such a beautiful building in my city,” she said
Yara Doleh was one of the first people in the door this morning that got to see the museum.
“Because of my background as an archaeologist I am fascinated by museums,” she said.
She said she was impatiently waiting for the museum to open so she could see the private collection of the Aga Khan.
For the opening weekend they have a music festival going on which will have informal performances through out the day on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. said the communications team member at the museum.
She said, “The purpose of the music festival is to show that people from Toronto are drawing on ancient musical traditions, bringing them to contemporary audiences and trying to mix them with contemporary sounds.”
“The programming at the Aga Khan Museum is focused on building bridges between cultures and is introducing people to sounds and sites they haven’t been introduced to before,” she said.