New Hajj exhibition at the British Museum gets installed

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We were sent these marvellous shots from the British Museum as the institution preps for its forthcoming Hajj extravaganza exhibition due to open on 26 January.

The great thing about this forthcoming show is its collision of new and old - pairing everything from beautifully illustrated Hajj certificates from the 1600s with the way that contemporary Saudi and international artists reflect on the pilgrimage.

As the first major exhibition dedicated solely to the Hajj, the BM has gathered some pretty exciting artefacts. The focus rests on the routes by which people have traditionally made the pilgrimage, looking at these routes as nurturing points of interaction and mutual enrichment between cultures from Asia, Africa, Europe and the wider Middle East.

The exhibition has been created in parallel with the King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh, as well as significant lending from the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art - one of the world's most illustrious. The image above is from the Khalili collection; an amazing example of a 19th-century mahmal from Cairo, the curtains used to drape the Ka'aba in the centre of Makkah.

The BM has also done a decent job of recording folk from all over the UK talking about their pilgrimage.

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Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam

runs from Jan 26-April 15 2012. More info