Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo
Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art (changed from Museum of Arab Art in 1952) was founded in 1880 by the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf). It moved several times (as more private small-scale enterprises at the Mosque of Baibars and then Mosque of Al-Hakim) before the current building, designed in an impressive neo-Mamluk style, was constructed in 1899-1902.
Though initially under European control and influence, largely through the Comité de conservation des monuments de l’art arabe, its first Egyptian director, Ali Bahgat (1858-1924), was a pioneer of Islamic archaeology and conducted excavations around Fustat in the early twentieth century.
As you walk the museum’s halls in this three-dimensional virtual tour, take a look at its displays of rare manuscripts of the Qur'an, intricate wood, stone, and plaster architectural elements, as well as crafts in glass, ceramics, and textiles.