Aga Khan Islamic center under way in Toronto

TORONTO — The Aga Khan, leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims, has broken ground on a $300 million Islamic center that will include the first museum of Islamic art and culture in North America.

More than a decade in planning and design, the complex will be home to the 100,000-square-foot Aga Khan Museum, designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki.

Nearby, the larger Ismaili Centre Toronto will contain meeting and multi-purpose rooms, a prayer room, youth lounge and library.

According to the Aga Khan Foundation, the museum will house and exhibit “some of the most important works of Islamic art in the world.” Some 200 pieces from the Aga Khan’s personal 1,000-piece collection will be on display in a permanent gallery. Some artifacts date back 1,000 years.

Born in Geneva in 1936, the Aga Khan is known as the 49th hereditary imam and a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad through the prophet’s daughter and son-in-law, Ali. Ismailism is a branch of Shia Islam and its second-largest sect.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Source: North Jersey

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