Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) is an international non-profit organisation founded on the initiative of Eva Schubert in 1995[1] in the context of the Barcelona Process Euro-Mediterranean Partnership relaunched as the Union for the Mediterranean).[2] MWNF provides a platform that enables all partners to interact productively and contribute to a transnational presentation of history, art and culture based on equal voices and the equal visibility of all concerned. For that purpose, MWNF develops exhibition formats that do not require moving the artworks, but instead, artefacts in museums, monuments and archaeological sites are presented in situ (Exhibition Trails)[3] or in a virtual environment (the MWNF Virtual Museum).


The MWNF Virtual Museum, so far the largest online museum, was launched in 2005.[4] It enables partners from different countries to present a joint theme taking into consideration the perspectives of all concerned and to create virtual ensembles that otherwise could not exist. The first thematic section,, was completed in cooperation with partners from 14 countries.[5] Discover Islamic Art presents the heritage of Islam not only in southern Mediterranean countries but also in Europe.[2] Its Database comprises 850 artefacts and 385 monuments[1] and archaeological sites relating to almost 1,300 years of history, from the Umayyad caliphate (AH 41–132 / AD 661–750) until the end of the Ottoman Empire (AH 1340 / AD 1922). Eighteen Virtual Exhibitions present the history, art and cultural legacy of the great Islamic dynasties of the Mediterranean. Descriptions are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish; for the Virtual Exhibitions also in German, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Swedish.[6]

The Virtual Museum's second thematic section,, was inaugurated in 2010. The newest section,, has been online since April 2015.[7]

Exhibition Trail is the name of another exhibition format set up by MWNF as a pioneering method to promote cultural tourism.[8] The selected items – artefacts in museums, monuments and archaeological sites – are presented in situ, where the visitor discovers them in their natural environment. Each Exhibition Trail has an accompanying travel book, designed and written by local experts of each country, to be used as a thematic guide during the visit. So far 18 Exhibition Trails have been launched in 11 countries offering a total of 164 thematic itineraries and turning 2,070 local museums, monuments and archaeological sites – to a large extent unknown to non-experts – into key elements of local development.

The registered MWNF office is based in Vienna but a small multilingual and highly flexible MWNF team operates around the globe. MWNF is supported by the members of its Board and Honorary Committee and by a committed network of Partners, Friends and Supporters.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b Nevine El-Aref (2005-12-15). "Surfing Islamic Art". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  2. ^ a b Nevine El-Aref (2002-03-28). "Tourist Trail Round the Med". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  3. ^ MAMLUK ART -The Splendour and Magic of the Sultans (Region: Cairo and Nile Delta) trail exhibit (photos by: Sherif Sonbol)
  4. ^ "Museum With No Frontiers - Discover Islamic Art". National Museums Scotland. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  5. ^ Frances Booth (2007-10-05). "Virtual Museum Showcases Shared Heritage". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-09.[dead link]
  6. ^ Bernau, Nikolaus (2007-07-11). "Islamische Kunst am Mittelmeer". Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
  7. ^ "The Arab view of its shared history at Sharjah Maritime Museum" Archived 2015-05-25 at the Wayback Machine, Khaleej Times, 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  8. ^ Fayza Hassan (1999-07-22). "Down the Yellow Brick Road". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-09-09.