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Islamic Museum of Australia now on Google Arts & Culture

TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

Islamic Museum of Australia brings the Big Jihad and other masterpieces online on Google Arts & Culture

Starting today, artefacts from the Islamic Museum of Australia collection can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture by people around the world.

In just a few clicks, users will be able to take a tour inside Australia’s first Islamic museum, nestled in the backstreets of Melbourne’s inner north, and explore significant items from the museum’s growing collection, including:

  • Big Jihad, a bronze sculpture by acclaimed West Australian artist, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah. This work explores the meaning of jihad, which in Islam is the internal struggle with one’s ego or commanding self.
  • The surfboards from Phillip George’s Inshallah series 2008. The boards were made in response to the 2005 Cronulla riots and fuse together two iconic traditions, namely Aussie beach culture and complex Islamic geometric art.
  • Waleed Aly (2011) by Abdul Abdullah, shortlisted as a finalist for the 2011 Archibald Prize, making the artist the youngest ever finalist in one of Australia’s longest running and most prestigious art prizes.
  • A Holy Quran, used by the Hon Ed Husic MP when he was sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Broadband in 2013. Mr Husic was Australia’s first Muslim elected to federal parliament, and the first Muslim frontbencher.

Audiences can also take a virtual step inside the multi-story minaret, built completely inside the museum, and listen to a call to prayer recorded by AFL player, Bachar Houli.

In two new virtual exhibitions, Journeying to the Soul – Stories of Ramadan and Australian Muslim Artists (2020), audiences will be able to explore the works of some of Australia’s most talented Muslim artists with direct insights into their inspiration and work. Select artworks, including Blue Mosque and Field of Hope by artist and co-curator Beray Uzunbay, can also be viewed at home, using the app’s augmented reality feature.

Moustafa Fahour, Founder & Director of the Islamic Museum of Australia said, “It is exciting to partner with Google Arts & Culture to bring the Islamic Museum of Australia to a wider audience. Google is a leader in digital technologies, that they have developed a platform for arts and cultural institutions like ours to reach a global audience is just brilliant. The museum is excited to have this opportunity to share our collections with a global audience.”

Ed Husic MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources and Federal Member for Chifley said, “I am so impressed by the innovative thinking and technology used to launch this terrific project between Google Arts & Culture and the Islamic Museum of Australia. I have been a long-time supporter of Google, the Museum and digital innovation. This project not only provides a virtual experience for people during these challenging times, but it also allows many across the globe to view these incredible collections. It has managed to embrace the future of the digital world whilst sharing an extraordinary cultural experience and I commend all of those involved in this terrific project.”

Ged Kearney MP, Federal Member for Cooper said: “I am so proud to have the Islamic Museum of Australia in my electorate – the first and only Islamic museum in Australia. The Museum plays a significant role in promoting a greater understanding of Islamic faith, heritage, history, and its significance and connection to Australia. I’m so thrilled that its partnership with Google Arts & Culture will provide a global audience who can learn about the contributions that Muslims and Islamic societies have brought to the world and more importantly Australia.”

Mel Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand said, “It’s an honour to partner with the Islamic Museum of Australia, and to invite everyone around the world to learn, share in and be inspired by the cultural and artistic heritage of Islam in Australia. This Museum and collection holds significance for both Ed and Ged, and we truly appreciate their support of this project. You can now take a virtual tour on Google Arts & Culture – and hopefully this experience encourages more Australians to visit this hidden gem in Melbourne’s inner north too.”

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Media Contacts: For interviews and images, contact Mei Nee Cheong, Media & Marketing Manager at Islamic Museum of Australia, meinee.cheong@islamicmuseum.org.au, (+61) 0414 264 987

About Islamic Museum of Australia
The Islamic Museum of Australia is located in Thornbury, in Melbourne’s north. It is the only Islamic museum in the country and offers a unique learning experience for guests of all ages, sharing the arts, culture and history of Islam and Australian Muslims.

About Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture puts the collections of more than 2,000 museums at your fingertips. It’s an immersive way to explore art, history and the wonders of the world, from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings to the women’s rights movement and the Taj Mahal. The Google Arts & Culture app is free and available online for iOS and Android. Our team has been an innovation partner for cultural institutions since 2011. We develop technologies that help preserve and share culture and allow curators to create engaging exhibitions online and offline, inside museums. Read about our latest projects on the Google Keyword blog.

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