“We have borrowed some remarkable objects not only from Japan, but from museums and private collections in the UK, Europe and America. Special thanks are due to Professor Nasser David Khalili – a great friend of the V&A – for his enormous encouragement of the exhibition, and for being so generous in lending pieces from his collection.”
Tristram Hunt, Director of Victoria and Albert Museum, on the occasion of the opening of – Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition, V&A, London, 26 February 2020
“[The Khalili Hajj Collection] has a really wide scope geographically and chronologically. Collecting art of the Islamic world, and in the specific case of the Hajj, is so important to enable a bridge between cultures. What we actually notice in exhibitions like this is that they stir dialogue. Combining our objects with the Khalili objects, which are of monumental size and which are more historical, gives multilayer dimensions to this exhibition. It is extremely generous of the Khalili Collections to offer us this opportunity”.
Dr Luit Mols, Curator at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam on the opening of the Longing for Mecca Exhibition in February 2019
“I wish to thank one of our most dynamic UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Professor Nasser D Khalili, for his passion and unfailing commitment to the values of heritage. He has spent considerable time and effort safeguarding Islamic heritage and is now the custodian of the largest group of objects related to the Holy City of Makkah”.
Holy Makkah, A Celebration of Unity
“Professor Nasser D. Khalili is not only a prominent art collector of international standing but also an outstanding scholar and benefactor, incidentally custodian of the greatest collection of objects related to Makkah and the Hajj. He has also been championing interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths for decades”.
Baroness Valerie Amos
Director of SOAS, University of London
Holy Makkah, A Celebration of Unity (First, 2017)
“The Khalili collection of Meiji art of Japan is only comparable as acknowledged by many scholars and museum directors, in terms of quality and size to the collection of the Japanese Imperial family”
Dr. Helena Gagarina
General Director Moscow Kremlin Museums.
Extract from the forward of the catalogue, Beyond Imagination Treasures of Imperial Japan from the Khalili Collection 19th to Early 20th centuries
“The Khalili collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage (700-2000) ranks in importance alongside the collections of the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul, and includes major objects, many of which are unique and irreplaceable and have no parallel in any other collection, private or public.”
Chairman, Sotheby’s Middle East and India
“From Jerusalem, the city of Light and Hope, I send you the expression of my admiration. I pay homage to the Board of Directors of the Aladdin Project for choosing you as the 2014 laureate of the Dialogue of Cultures Award; it is a truly merited act of gratitude for all that you have done in the domain of intercultural and interfaith dialogue, as well as your significant contribution to the effulgence of Islamic arts.”
Chief Rabbi emeritus of France, Vice-President of the Conference of European Rabbis
12 June 2014
“Professor Khalili, of Jewish Iranian heritage, is today one of the world’s greatest ambassadors of culture and Islamic arts. We are honoured that he is with us tonight at the National Assembly”.
Claude Bartolone, President of the French National Assembly, during the ceremony of the Dialogue of Cultures Award
12 June 2014
“We Thank Khalili for his contribution to this exhibition”
Dr. Faisal Bin Muammar
Director General of The King Abdulaziz Public Library Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls visit at the Hajj, le pèlerinage à La Mecque at the Institut du monde arabe, Paris.
26 June 2014
“Though religious conflict and intolerance often claim center stage, throughout the world there are people working tirelessly for interfaith peace and understanding. Nasser David Khalili is a leader among them”
“In recognition of his services to humanity through art, culture and philanthropy, and in acknowledgement of his exceptional journey as one of our most distinguished alumni, we are proud today to present Nasser David Khalili with the Queens College President’s Medal”
President James Muyskens
Queens College New York
30 May 2013
“It would have been impossible to tell that story without those great Works of Art from David’s collection”.
“On behalf of all of us at the museum and thousands of people who will see this exhibition, I would like to thank you, David, and your family for your amazing generosity, especially for this exhibition, which will allow, I hope, a new set of people to understand what Hajj is”.
“It would have been impossible to tell that story without those great Works of Art from David’s collection”
Director, The British Museum On the occasion of The Hajj Exhibition at the British Museum
Professor Nasser D. Khalili, who has amassed what is almost certainly the greatest collection of Islamic art in existence.
Andrew Mckie, From an article: The British Museum’s Pilgrimage, The Wall Street Journal
January 27, 2012
“His Islamic treasures include a 14th-centuary Iranian world history by Rashid al-Din Fadlallah; Its one of the greatest illustrated manuscripts in the world”
Senior curator for the Middle East at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Bloomberg Magazine
“He’s an unparalleled Art Collector”
Director of De Nieuwe Kerk and Hermitage Amsterdam
“The Public will be astounded by the diversity of the Khalili material”
International Herald Tribune
Geoffrey Munn, managing director of wartski, an art and antique dealer in London
10 December 2009
“David Khalili puts most collectors to shame. In an age in which so many rich men call themselves collectors and seem more interested in displaying their wealth than the art they have acquired through it, Khalili has done rather more then simply raise a paddle in the saleroom”.
“Abu Dhabi is hosting the most comprehensive exhibition of Islamic art ever staged in the Middle East”
“An attempt to value the Nasser D. Khalili collection of Islamic Art would be an impossible task. Even with an infinite budget one would not be able to rebuild such a collection; hence it is literally priceless.”
Director, Islamic & Indian art, Bonhams
“Many items in the Nasser D. Khalili collection are completely unique – without parallel in museums let alone the market. It is a collection that would be impossible to recreate.”
International Specialist Head Department Islamic Art, Christies London
“This collection is without a doubt the largest and most comprehensive collection of Islamic Art in the world and we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to host it in our Museum.”
Edmund Capon, AM,OBE
Director NSW Gallery, Sydney, Australia
“David Khalili is The ‘Born Collector’ “
Art news, The Global Art Boom
“…Khalili is a most unusual collector – and also an extraordinary man”
“Healing the world with art”
‘The Independent: Arts and Books Review’
16 April 2004
“Dr. Khalili is a man of obvious rare taste, and his collection of Islamic art is a very important collection, and very wisely collected,”
in the article – ‘Authority and collector Khalili to explore glories of Islamic art’ by David J. Craig in Boston University Bridge, Vol. VI, No. 20
“Today I am speechless and proud to be Japanese”
His Excellency Kunihiko Saito
Japanese Ambassador to Washington (on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Delaware Exhibition)
10 April 1999
“…A landmark in the study of nineteenth century Spanish decorative art.”
Dr Alan Borg
Director, Victoria & Albert Museum, on the occasion of the opening of the Zuloaga exhibition
“At that time we could not have guessed the existence of Professor Khalili’s collection… a feat which could not possibly be duplicated or even approached by any museum in the world today…”
Dr Robert Anderson
Director, British Museum, Talking on the exhibition Japanese Imperial Craftsman, 21 September 1994 – 15 January 1995
“This series is a monumental celebration of the material culture of the Islamic peoples, the so called ‘people of the Book’. For their production values, for their very substantial scholarship, and of course for the collection itself, these volumes can only be seen as a landmark series….”
The Art Book
“Professor Nasser D. Khalili……….one of the world’s leading collectors of
Japanese art from the Meiji period.”
Museums by John Russell Taylor
12 November 1994
“At Wikimedia, we are actively seeking to diversify our cultural content, and the Khalili Collections is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse collections in the world, spanning some two and a half millennia, with masterpieces from Europe, the Middle East, Scandinavia, East Asia, Russia, South Asia, North Africa and beyond. We are proud to be partnering with one of the world’s great preservers of global cultural heritage”.
Lucy Crompton-Reid, CEO of Wikimedia UK at the Wikimania Conference in Stockholm, August 2019.
“Our role is to promote the common good in society and solidarity among the peoples. In our troubled times, interfaith harmony and cooperation couldn’t be more important, which is why Professor Nasser D Khalili, the famous Jewish collector, scholar and preserver of Islamic art and culture, was honoured with papal knighthoods from Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI for his work in the pursuit of peace, education and culture amongst nations”.
Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino
Honorary President, Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Vatican
Holy Makkah, A Celebration of Unity (First, 2017)
“Professor Nasser Khalili, one of the world’s foremost collectors of Islamic art, frequently named the “cultural ambassador of Islam”, has assembled the collection, “Hajj and the art of the pilgrimage”, elements of which have been displayed in such prestigious institutions as the British Museum. This collection has even been praised by the Mayor of Makkah himself”.
Dr Akbar S Ahmed
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University
Holy Makkah, A Celebration of Unity (First, 2017)
“You are a man who works for dialogue and peace”
Comment made by President François Hollande on the occasion of awarding Prof. Khalili the Rank of officier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur at the Elysée Palace
11 April 2016
“We salute you Prof. Khalili, for enabling us to stage this unique exhibition”.
Comment made by President François Hollande on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Hajj, le pe`lerinage a` La Mecque, Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France
“Professor Khalili’s contribution to the world of art and culture is unparalleled, and for him to be called the Medici of the 21st century is no exaggeration.”
“What makes Khalili’s story an especially remarkable one is the simple fact that as a Jew he is probably doing more than anyone to promote Islamic art and culture worldwide.”
“Professor Khalili, of Jewish Iranian heritage, is today one of the world’s greatest ambassadors of culture and Islamic arts. We are honoured that he is with us tonight at the National Assembly.”
“Tonight we are celebrating the outstanding achievements of a deeply humanist man of culture and science, without whom the major exhibition on Hajj at the Arab World Institute (Institut du monde arabe) could never have taken place. Professor Khalili has shown a unique determination to forge dialogue between cultures and religions and to improve the mutual knowledge of people of different cultures”.
President of the Arab World Institute and former French Minster of Culture, during the ceremony of the Dialogue of Cultures Award at the French Parliament,
12 june 2014