Museum with No Frontiers

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Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF), an international non-profit organization founded in 1995 as a result of the Barcelona Declaration[1] by Eva Schubert, with the goal of launching a formal partnership between the European Union and its Mediterranean neighbours,[2] which recently resulted in the constitution of the Union for the Mediterranean. It is the largest trans-national museum on the internet.[3] MWNF's goal is to promote cooperation in the fields of cultural heritage, tourism and education. MWNF develops exhibition formats that do not require moving the artworks, but instead, museum artefacts, monuments and archaeological sites are presented in situ (Exhibition Trails)[4] or in a virtual environment (the MWNF Virtual Museum). Within the programme coordinated by MWNF each country presents its history, art and culture from the local perspective. Over 500 partners from 21 countries participate in different projects. HRH Princess Sumayyah of Jordan is one of the members of the recently constituted MWNF Honorary Committee. MWNF was founded in Vienna, Austria, moved its operational office to Madrid, Spain in 1998 and is currently based in Brussels, Belgium. In May 2007, the involvement of the European Commission ended, and the museum became self-financed.[1]

The Virtual Museum was launched by MWNF in 2007. The platform enables partners from different countries to present a joint theme from a shared perspective and to create virtual ensembles that would otherwise be impossible to realise. It also shows the role of Islam not only in the Mediterranean but also in Europe.[2] The first section,, was completed in 2005 in cooperation with partners from 14 countries.[5] It’s Permanent Collection and Database comprises 850 artefacts as well as 385 monuments[1] and archaeological sites from the Umayyad period (AD 132–750) until the end of the Ottoman Empire (1922). 18 Virtual Exhibitions present the history, art and cultural legacy of the great Islamic dynasties of the Mediterranean. Descriptions are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish; for the Virtual Exhibitions furthermore also in German, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Swedish.[6]

Exhibition Trail is the name of one of MWNF's other exhibition formats, authored by Eva Schubert.[7] All items on display – museum artefacts, monuments and archaeological sites – are presented in situ, thus making moving the artworks unnecessary. Instead, the visitor discovers the artefacts on display in their natural environment. Each Exhibition Trail has an accompanying catalogue, designed and written by local experts of each country, and produced for use as a thematic guide during the visit. So far 15 Exhibition Trails have been launched in 11 countries offering a total of 164 thematic itineraries and turning 1,468 local museums, monuments and archaeological sites – to a large extent unknown to non-experts – into key elements of local development.


  1. ^ a b c Nevine El-Aref (2005-12-15). "Surfing Islamic Art". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b Nevine El-Aref (2002-03-28). "Tourist Trail Round the Med". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  3. ^ "Museum With No Frontiers - Discover Islamic Art". National Museums Scotland. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  4. ^ MAMLUK ART -The Splendour and Magic of the Sultans (Region: Cairo and Nile Delta) trail exhibit (photos by: Sherif Sonbol)
  5. ^ Frances Booth (2007-10-05). "Virtual Museum Showcases Shared Heritage". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  6. ^ Bernau, Nikolaus (2007-07-11). "Islamische Kunst am Mittelmeer". Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  7. ^ Fayza Hassan (1999-07-22). "Down the Yellow Brick Road". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 

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