The Qatar National Museum is a museum in the Qatari capital of Doha. It is due to be replaced by the National Museum of Qatar, which is being constructed on the same site, by 2016.History and designUpon Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani's accession to the throne in 1972, he drew up plans for a national museum in order to document the country's heritage and traditions.
That year, he contracted Michael Rice & Company to design the structural and functional aspects of the museum. It was decided that the building would enclose Fariq Al Salatah Palace, a dilapidated early-20th century palace previously occupied by Qatar's former emir, Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. A lagoon was also created to provide a venue for showcasing traditional dhows and pearling equipment.The museum was inaugurated on 23 June, 1975. Originally, its facilities included a 100-seat auditorium and a library. In 1980, the Museum was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The royal palace which the museum was built around was refurbished in 2015 in preparation for the opening of the new museum.CollectionSince its inauguration, the museum has contained materials related which signify Qatar's cultural heritage, such as Bedouin ethnographic materials, maritime artifacts and environmental items. Ancient artifacts, most of which are locally derived, are also housed in the museum.Archaeological artifactsBritish archaeologist Beatrice de Cardi and her team were commissioned to undertake expeditions in Qatar from November 1973 to January 1974 in order to collect artifacts to display in the museum. Their most significant discoveries were at the site of Al Da'asa, which contained numerous Ubaid potsherds dating to the Neolithic period. Artifacts from the earlier Danish expeditions launched throughout the 1950s and 1960s were also put on display.
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