The Art of Peace by Sir David Khalili is set to be released on November 2nd

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In 1967, Sir David Khalili finished his military service in Iran and travelled to study in the United States with $750 – his remaining royalties from a book he wrote when he was just 14. Over the course of the next five decades he single-handedly, piece by piece, assembled eight of the finest art collections in their field, ultimately becoming one of the world’s greatest collectors, about whom Queen Elizabeth Il once said: ‘It is scary how much this gentleman knows about art.’

For the first time, Sir David shares his extraordinary journey: one that has taken him through the souks of North Africa, the auction houses of Europe and the United States, the bazaars of South Asia, and far beyond. Through a riveting collection of real-life adventures, he reveals his collecting strategy, business ethics and what motivates him to continuously collect, conserve, research, publish and exhibit the treasures in his collections.

Through his story, Sir David questions how the undeniable power of art can be harnessed to foster greater peace and unity worldwide. No one is better placed to enlighten us.

World Day for Cultural Diversity spotlighted on Wikipedia homepage for the first time ever!

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We improved Wikipedia’s article about the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development so that, from now on, it qualifies for being linked on Wikipedia’s home page. The expanded content mentions the Khalili Foundation and the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. For the first time, the article was linked from Wikipedia’s home page on 21 May, making 4.7 million people aware of the significance of the day. The article itself got a record number of views.


Wikipedia’s articles about cultural diversity

As well as the article about the World Day, we have substantially rewritten or expanded Wikipedia’s articles about Cultural diversity, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity while making smaller improvements to Artistic freedom, Cultural policy, and Cultural expressions. The purpose was to make these articles more accessible, more relevant to individual readers, and to highlight the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. The articles about 2005 and October 20 were edited to include the fact that the Convention was signed on that date, making the Convention eligible to be highlighted in Wikipedia’s “On This Day” section.

The newsletter of the Wikipedia community, The Signpost, featured an article by Martin Poulter and Waqas Ahmed highlighting Wikipedia’s emphasis on Western art and calling for more recognition of art from other cultures.

Highlighting diverse visual art on Wikipedia

In the first five months of 2023, the new article Musa va ‘Uj was featured on Wikipedia’s front page under “Did You Know” and Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam was “Today’s Featured Article” for 17 May. The article for the British Museum exhibition was linked from Wikipedia’s front page for four days in a row, leading to 45,000 extra views for that article and thousands of extra readers for several articles related to Islam. Volunteers translated articles related to the Khalili Collections into Indonesian, Malay, and Urdu, creating nine new articles.

Beeple Auction

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World-renowned artist Beeple, who broke records in 2021 for selling an NFT for $69.3m, donated an NFT for his work “Biological Collectible” (a magnificent digital work accompanied by a physical) that was auctioned for the event – the proceeds going to UNESCO’s efforts to support arts projects in developing countries.

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The Return of the Sámi Drums – The Sámi Museum in Karasjok participates in festival

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For the World Day of Cultural Diversity, The Sámi Museum in Karasjok will prepare a 360° virtual tour in RUOKTOT – The Return of the Sámi Drums.

RiddoDuottarMuseat – Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat, 2022-2023

SÁPMI – The Land of the Indigenous Sámi People

You will be able to explore an innovative virtual environment that will transport you to the Arctic as a visitor to the vibrant cultural world of the Sámi, an Indigenous community who lives in Fennoscandia.

As a virtual guest, you can take a tour of the exhibition titled “RUOKTOT”, which in Sámi means returning home. The exhibition chronicles histories of appropriation of the Sámi drums – sacred belongings of the Sámi ritual specialists, called noaidi in North Sámi.

Join the virtual museum guide to explore the ongoing cultural significance of these sacred objects, taken away through histories of missionization and colonization, and reclaimed by contemporary communities to facilitate a process of healing. 

To be released on May 21.

European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture joins the festival with two exhibitions

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ERIAC Berlin and ERIAC Serbia prepare two exhibition openings to mark the Day of Romani Resistance on the 16th of May, presenting various Roma artists.

The Gypsyism, Balkanism – Through a Glass, Darkly exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia, displays five artists from the Visegrad Region and Serbia who engage themselves in intimate dialogue with the history of – frequently hurtful – representations of Roma, while Emerging Talents – Spring Salon exhibition in Berlin, Germany, introduces six innovative and experimental Roma voices in contemporary art.

Both events are associated with the Khalili Foundation’s World Festival of Cultural Diversity.

Learn more about the event in Berlin

Learn more about the event in Belgrade


The Prince’s Trust joins the festival with Youth Round Table activities on cultural diversity

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The Prince’s Trust will host four round tables with a diverse group of young people currently being supported by The Trust.

To promote a wealth of experiences and opinions, the sessions are hosted across four nations in cities that have been carefully chosen; Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast and Cardiff. These cities are all highlighted in The Trust’s Place-Based Strategy to support young people within urban areas where deprivation is more prevalent, the majority of the population are situated, and there is a higher average of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Communities.

Watch the trailer with session highlights


Announcing The Royal Institution as a festival partner with upcoming event

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As part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity,  join us for a discussion with expert speakers offering a global perspective of scientific progress and a radical retelling of the history of science, exploring how scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific have shaped our understanding of the world.

The panellists include Dr Lawrence Dritsas (Edinburgh University), Dr Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva (St Andrews University), Dr Hansun Hsiung (Durham University) and Dr Federica Gigante (University of Oxford, History of Science Museum).

Tickets here for the event ‘Towards a Global Story of Science’