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World's largest Hajj exhibition at British Museum

The British Museum is mounting the world’s largest ever exhibition on the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Objects from around the globe will be displayed at next year’s show on the annual ritual, undertaken by three million Muslims, 25,000 of them from the UK, every year.

The museum’s director, Neil MacGregor, said the Hajj was a cultural phenomenon “that needs to be better understood”.

The show, Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam, is particularly fitting for a museum which “has sought to present the connection between faith and society” since it opened its doors in the 18th  century, he said.

Manuscripts, diaries, textiles, archaeological material, historic photographs, contemporary art and souvenirs will be on display.

The Hajj is a “supreme spiritual moment for Muslims”, Mr MacGregor said, “and it is an experience that shapes the notion of the Islamic community worldwide.

”Our ambition is to try to present something of that.”

He added: “It is not merely a spiritual phenomenon – it has become a great cultural phenomenon.

”Very beautiful things, supreme works of art, have been made to be sent to Mecca to accompany people. We’ll be looking at some of those objects and they are supreme.”

Every adult Muslim is meant to undertake the Hajj at least once in their life if they can make the journey.

The exhibition will examine the pilgrim’s journey, the rituals and the destination of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam, sponsored by HSBC Amanah, runs from January 26, 2012, to April 15, 2012.

Source: Asian Image