Saudi funds British Islamic gallery

March 17, 2004 at 2:28 PM
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LONDON, March 17 (UPI) -- A Saudi Arabian corporate donor has given $8 million to London's Victoria and Albert Museum for an Islamic art gallery, The Art Newspaper reported Wednesday.

To be called the Jameel gallery, the new exhibition space is being funded by Hartwell PLC, an Oxford-based company owned by the Abdul Latif Jameel Group that has its headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The company's main business is automobile sales, including the world's largest Toyota dealership, and financial services. Its owner, Mohammed Latif Jameel, is estimated by Forbes Magazine to have a fortune of $3 billion.

The V & A's Islamic collection has grown since 1948 into one of Europe's greatest collections, particularly rich in ceramics. While work is underway on the new Islamic gallery, the museum's collection will begin traveling exhibitions starting at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., July 18 through February 6, 2005.

The Jameel gallery is schedule to open in 2006, according to a V & A spokesman.

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