Austria has a long tradition of connections with the Islamic world. Flourishing trade in the Middle Ages and diplomatic relations of the Austrian Emperors led to Vienna ’s vast collections of splendid works of Islamic art. In the 19th century Austria ’s capital played a leading role in Oriental Studies and was home to various exhibitions. Furthermore, the Vienna World Fair of 1873 provided an outstanding opportunity for an exchange of culture and the arts.
The idea of the ‘Virtual Museum of Islamic Art’ was to provide a platform to introduce exceptional objects of Islamic art collected in Vienna during the course of time. The project was initiated in German language by Prof. Dr. Ebba Koch and her students at Vienna University .
Following the very successful launching of the virtual Museum we approached the Center for Translation Studies of the University of Vienna for a version in English. The AACC (Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce) very generously sponsored this project to permit its inclusion into the academic curriculum.
In successive sessions and after visiting the respective museums, selected texts were rephrased in English by Karima Elsayed, Elisabeth López-Semeleder, Aldiana Medjodović and Sandra Pulzer under the supervision of Dr. Annelies Glander, edited by Ebba Koch and linked to the website by Amely Haslauer