An update on this 2010 post – Metropolitan Museum of Art pulls images of Mohammed. (Pic below not likely in the Met)
The Met is no longer non-prophet.
After at least an eight-year absence, images of Mohammed will return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the renovated Islamic galleries reopen in November.
The controversial depictions have not been seen in years, and there was some doubt about whether they would resurface when a $50 million renovation of the gallery space is completed.
Conservative Muslims object to any images of the prophet, saying that their religion forbids showing renderings of Islam’s founder.
“Islamic Sharia law doesn’t allow his image,” said Chernor Sa’ad Jalloh, an assistant imam at the Islamic Cultural Center in Manhattan. “Even in Islamic museums they don’t allow this.”
But a Met spokesman said the display is a matter of art, not religion.
“We have tried to be up-front and frank about our plans with members of the Muslim-American community,” said Harold Holzer. “We have not asked for guidance.”
The museum invited New York Muslim groups on an advance tour of the new 19,000-square-foot space on the second floor, and reached out to dozens of Islamic art scholars during the renovation.
They didn’t ask for guidance but reached out to dozens of “Islamic art scholars” and invited NY Muslim groups on an advanced tour? For five images, only two of which will be shown at one time.
The Met is widely considered to have one of the world’s most important collections of Islamic art, spanning 13 centuries. The renovation has added 5,000 square feet of exhibition space and includes the recreation of a Moorish courtyard. Experts spent three years restoring a 16th-century rug that once belonged to Russian royalty.
Holzer refused to say whether the Met had made special security arrangements for the opening of the awkwardly named “Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia.” The name was changed from “Islamic Galleries.”
The Met has five images of the prophet in its 60,000-piece collection of Islamic art. Curators plan to display only two at a time because they are delicate and cannot be exposed to light for long.
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