The first major Quran exhibition in the U.S. will play an important role in the fight against increasing islamophobia in the U.S., one of the Turkish sponsors of the exhibit said Thursday.
“Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. The current perception of Islam is beyond the reality. We won’t let the extremists to manipulate our religion,” Koc Holding’s vice chairman of the board, Yildirim Ali Koc, said during a media preview of the exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S. capital.
Koc said he was pleased to see the manuscripts of 47 centuries-old handwritten Qurans from Turkey presented at “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts” which will be opened to the public on Saturday.
The Qurans were brought from the more than 100-year-old Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul. The exhibition will also include 18 Qurans from the permanent collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M.Sackler Gallery – both part of the Smithsonian.
The manuscripts are among the most important ever produced from geography spanning Turkey to Afghanistan and covers almost 1,000 years of the history of Islamic art between the 8th and 17th centuries.
In addition to the exhibition, there will also be several seminars and panels on Islamic Art, curator tours, family-friendly hands-on art activities, storytelling performances and live demonstrations of calligraphy and illumination.
A Quran symposium will also take place Dec. 1 at the Turkish Embassy to the U.S.
Organized by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Smithsonian Museum, the exhibition will be on view through Feb. 20.
Officials from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish embassy are expected to attend the exhibit’s opening sponsored by Turkish Airlines, the Koc Holding and the Dogan Group.