The Islamic Art collections of the Benaki Museum are exhibited in the Museum of Islamic Art and ranks among the most important in the world.
Antonis Benakis initially started collecting in Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century when at the same time many similar collections were created in Europe and America, which, in many cases, complement the Benaki Museum collection.
The building which houses these collections is located in the historic centre of Athens, near the ancient Kerameikos cemetery. During the preservation works of the building, a section of the ancient city wall of Athens was uncovered at the basement level; it is now accessible to visitors.
The evolution of Islamic civilisation from the first appearance of Islam up to the Ottoman period and the corresponding development of Islamic art up to the 19th century are demonstrated by more than 8,000 works of art, including ceramics, gold, metalwork, textiles and glass, smaller groupings of bone objects, inscribed funerary steles and weaponry, as well as the marble-faced interior of a reception room from a 17th-century Cairo mansion.
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