By Zahi Hawass
The Museum of Islamic Art has been closed for restoration since 2002. Unfortunately, the previous renovation plan that was developed for the museum was never put into action. Simultaneously, Dar Al-Kotob, the Egyptian National Library and Archives in Cairo, was also under renovation. One of the major concerns we faced was that both institutions shared a single basement, leaving the MIA with less storage space. Finally in 2002 I initiated a new strategy plan for the renovation of the MIA.
I wanted to hire a good museum designer in order to properly display the beautiful artefacts. I spoke to my dear friend Luis Monreal, general manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and convinced him to raise the funds required to hire an expert designer. To design the galleries we selected Adrien Gardère of Studio Adrien Gardère in Paris.