The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) has begun shifting parts of its expansive collection to the new museum building that has taken shape on the Doha Corniche. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the new NMoQ building is forged using an interlocking disc design inspired by the desert rose.

Last month, the first group of 1,500 artefacts was transferred into the new building. NMoQ’s collections and conservation teams worked hand-in-hand to transport the objects into the new, state-of-the-art storage facilities, where the collection will be kept until curatorial fit out begins later this year. Only portions of NMoQ’s vast collection will be on display at any given time. The new NMoQ building boasts modern facilities with adaptable functionalities to properly store the collection.

NMoQ Objects 2

Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim Al Thani, Director of the National Museum of Qatar, said:

This is a major milestone in the development of the National Museum of Qatar as we enter the final phase of preparations ahead of opening. The collection will now begin its journey to its new home from various locations in Doha, giving our patrons glimpses of what the museum will showcase along the way.’

The transportation of a museum collection is a long-term, thorough process which began months ago. During the preliminary preparation phase, the NMoQ team identified and sorted all collection items into three categories comprising of artefacts containing organic materials (e.g leather, textile, wood) that need to be frozen prior to entering the new facility, artefacts with inorganic materials (e.g. metals, stone, ceramics) that do not require freezing and disinfection and fragile items that require special packing. This process helped guide the careful transportation of each artefact to ensure it was preserved and cared for properly on the way to its new home.

Iwan Baan National Museum of Qatar 3 NMoQ
NMoQ aerial shot by Iwan Baan

The NMoQ has been the focus of several high-profile initiatives in recent months, unveiling its new brand identity and launching the popular “Voices” campaign where members of the local community have been asked to share their stories and memories of the Old National Museum.

NMoQ is set to give voice to the country’s rich heritage and history whilst celebrating its future. Visitors to the museum will be able to learn about Qatar’s past and the modernisation of Qatari society. Exhibitions will combine historic objects and contemporary influences, opening up a dialogue around the impact of rapid change. Innovative presentation techniques will excite audiences and push boundaries. 

The museum represents one of the most significant cultural projects in the country and also one of the most ambitious museum projects of its kind, anywhere in the world.

Seemingly growing organically out of the ground, the museum’s structure surrounds the Old Palace of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani. It is one of most recognisable landmarks in the country and serves as a monument to a historic way of life in Qatar.

For more information, visit the Qatar Museums website