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First day cover stamps on Islamic Arts Museum


Datuk Seri Abdullah launching the first day cover stamps.  With him are Pos Malaysia executive chairman Tan Sri Zainol Mahmood (left) and Albukhary Foundation executive chairman Datuk Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.  NST picture by Hamsiah Abu Bakar KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs -   Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, today launched first day cover stamps depicting the Islamic Arts Museum, the first such museum in the Asia Pacific region. Praising the museum for its efforts to highlight the beauty of Islamic arts, he said the stamps were a good promotional, strategy and hoped that there would be more such activities as many still did not know about the museum. "First day covers are records of important events. These stamps cover the different aspects of the museum which is a source of pride to Malaysians," he said, adding that the stamps would be distributed widely and collected.

Abdullah said Islam was a religion with widespread influence on civilisation and the museum played a role in creating a better understanding of Islam, its arts and culture which is "a gift to the world." He also suggested that ambassadors from the Organisation of Islamic Conference countries, who were present at the launch, work with the museum to promote Islamic arts. He said the OIC Foreign Ministers conference would be held soon in Malaysia, the museum could organise a special exhibition with artifacts from the OIC countries.

The museum, a showcase for the arts and culture of Islam, was opened in December 1998. It has permanent galleries housing its collection of artifacts as well as displays on the art of the mosque and architecture. A highlight is the Ottoman Room which is a reconstruction of room inspired by the golden era of the Ottoman Empire. Its architecture is distinctive and includes five domes including the inverted dome, to represent the five pillars of Islam

The museum which costs over RM70 million, hosts classes on calligraphy, ceramics and woodwork..

The stamps launched today are in the denominations of 20, 30 and 50 sen, and RM 1. They feature the inverted dome, the main dome, the Ottoman panel and a mihrab (a false door showing the direction of Mecca).

Reprinted from the New Straits Times, Friday April 7, 2000

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