E. V. SUPONINA
Candidate of Philosophical Sciences
The history of relations between Russia and Kuwait in the field of culture is now inextricably linked with the dramatic events of the early 1990s.Twenty years ago, when the Soviet Union, torn by internal contradictions, was going through the penultimate year of its existence, Kuwait faced a terrible test. Saddam Hussein's Iraq launched a war against Kuwait in August 1990, declaring it one of its provinces, and occupied the country. And it just so happened that just before this drama, the largest museums of our countries agreed on close cooperation.
Three months before the Iraqi aggression, the National Museum of Kuwait successfully hosted the Hermitage exhibition. Under the cultural exchange agreement, the Kuwaitis were to exhibit the same number - more than 120-of their best exhibits in what was then Leningrad. Thus, at the end of July 1990, the most valuable items from the Kuwaiti collection were exported to the Soviet Union. Accompanying documentation was attached to each of them. Some of the exhibits belonged to the Early Middle Ages. But mostly they were jewelry and precious daggers of the Mughal era, which ruled in India from the XVI to XIX centuries. It is noteworthy that the Russian court once collected Mughal treasures, and one of these collections is kept since the XVIII century in the Hermitage.
In Kuwait, this collection was collected and continues to be collected by members of the country's ruling dynasty, Nasser al-Sabah and his wife, Hissa al-Sabah. Both are direct relatives of almost all previous Kuwaiti rulers, as well as the current Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. And both are particularly interested in the achievements of Islamic culture and promote them.
Princess Hissa al-Sabah (in the Kuwaiti tradition, instead of "prince" or "princess", the words sheikh or sheikha are used as a sign of belonging to the ruling dynasty) created and headed the Museum of Monuments of Islamic Culture (Dar al-Asar al-I ... Read more