International Day of Islamic Art
Unique Example of Islamic Art | Old City of Sana’a Yemen | Image Source: https://en.unesco.org/
In recognition of the role and contribution of Islamic Art in the preservation and dissemination of human Civilization and Culture, the 18th of November of each year has been proclaimed as the International Day of Islamic Art by UNESCO. It aims to raise awareness of past and contemporary artistic expressions of Islam, and the contribution of culture through Islamic Art to civilization.
Day of Islamic Art not only encourages the appreciation of Islamic art, which has inspired other artistic movements but also contributes to cultural diversity, freedom of expression, protection of cultural heritage, and intercultural dialogue. Marking the Day is also a way to foster tolerance between peoples and support cultural rapprochement, both of which are possible through the power of art. This form of art spans over 1,400 years of history and has incredible geographic diversity-Islamic empires from Spain to western China at various points in history to current renditions of contemporary art.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of International Day of Islamic Art conveyed as follows:
This year, we are marking International Day of Islamic Art for the first time. This Day was proclaimed in order to celebrate together this exceptional heritage, spanning fourteen centuries, which continues to renew and reinvent itself, and influence cultures around the world.
History of International Day of Islamic Art
The celebration of this day proposed by the Kingdom of Bahrain and adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 40th session in 2019, aims to showcase the diversity and pluralism embodied in the wealth of Islamic Art. Marking Islamic Art and its rich and exceptional value to the World´s Cultures is an additional step made by the international community in its appreciation of Cultural Diversity, as well as a vehicle for strengthening intercultural dialogue and understanding, tolerance, and peace.