Dead Sea, 17-10-2006
Under the patronage of HRH Princess Sumayya of Jordan, the representatives of nine of the most prestigious European museums from Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as representatives of the Ministries of Culture and Museums of Islamic Art of eight Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey) met on 17 December by the Dead Sea to sign an Agreement with the purpose of ensuring the sustainability and further development of the Discover Islamic Art Virtual Museum designed by Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) and set up with the support of the European Union under the Euromed Heritage programme.
More than 150 experts from 14 countries have been working together for almost three years to establish a unique on-line collection of Islamic art in the Mediterranean including 850 artefacts from 40 museums as well as 385 monuments and archaeological sites from 11 countries of Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
During their meeting in Jordan, the partners agreed on the programme of activities that will be realised after the end of the EU funding and that includes the joint development of a new exhibition format, the publication of guides for all participating Islamic art museums and collections as well as the creation of an educational platform for the Virtual Museum.
The Discover Islamic Art Cooperation Agreement constitutes a historical achievement as it is the first time that partners from the South and North have decided to combine their efforts and to work together on the basis of an equal partnership, independent of any external funding.