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Jan 10

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, January 10, 2010 7:58 AM 

From today's New York Post:

Is the Met afraid of Mohammed?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art quietly pulled images of the Prophet Mohammed from its Islamic collection and may not include them in a renovated exhibition area slated to open in 2011, The Post has learned.

The museum said the controversial images -- objected to by conservative Muslims who say their religion forbids images of their holy founder -- were "under review."

Critics say the Met has a history of dodging criticism and likely wants to escape the kind of outcry that Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused in 2006.

"Escape the outcry"? Outcry? That sounds like a round of bad reviews. How about axe-wielding, underpants-bombing, airplane crashing jihad? That's what the Met wants to escape -- by submitting to the strictures of Islamic law. And don't tell me -- do I smell an Islamic bequest to the Met in the offing ...? 

"This is typical of the Met -- trying to avoid any controversy," said a source with inside knowledge of the museum.

Avoiding any controversy" is 9/10 talk. This is capitulating to Islamic blackmail.

The Met currently has about 60 items from its 60,000-piece Islamic collection on temporary display in a corner of its vast second-floor Great Hall while larger galleries are renovated. But its three ancient renderings of Mohammed are not among them.

"We have a very small space at the moment in which to display the whole sweep of Islamic art," said spokeswoman Egle Zygas. "They didn't fit the theme of the current installation."

Mohammed doesn't even rate a dark niche in the gallery?

But it's not certain Mohammed will go on display when the Met finishes its $50 million renovation in 2011....

Guess not. Now, I wonder who all's paying for the $50 million renovation? While we ponder this, how about a cultural time-out with all of the Met's Mo-pics I could find online.

Here is a link to the museum's catalogue of "Figure, Mohammed." No telling how long it will work. And here are the five Figures, Mohammed I found there.

The Night Journey of Muhammad on His Steed, Buraq; Leaf from a copy of the Bustan of Sacdi, dated 1514
Painter: Unknown; Calligrapher: Sultan Muhammad Nur
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Colors, ink, and gold on paper

7.5 x 5 in. (19 x 12.7 cm)
Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1974 (1974.294.2)

Muhammad's Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; Leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (Compendium of Histories), ca. 1425; Timurid
Herat, Afghanistan
Colors, silver, and gilt on brownish paper

16 7/8 x 13 1/4 in. (42.8 x 33.7 cm)
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956 (57.51.37.3)

Journey of the Prophet Muhammad; Leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (Compendium of Histories), ca. 1425; Timurid
Herat, Afghanistan
Colors, silver, and gilt on brownish paper

16 7/8 x 13 in. (42.8 x 33 cm)
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956 (57.51.9)

Leaf from a manuscript, 19th century; Qajar
Iran
Ink, watercolors, gold, and silver on paper

13 1/3 x 7 1/2 in. (33 x 19 cm)
Bequest of Adrienne Minassian, 1994 (1997.293)

Leaf from Maqtal-i al-i Rasul, end of 16th century; Ottoman
Baghdad, Iraq
Colors and gilt on paper

7 3/4 x 6 1/16 in. (19.8 x 15.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955 (55.121.40)

 

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