Ribāt da Arrifana
AKTC is currently working on the Ribāt da Arrifana, an important Islamic archeological site located within the municipality of Aljezur, in Arrifana, the Algarve. It corresponds to a ribāt settlement of the 12th century, excavated by the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The Ribāt was founded by the Sufi master Ibn Qasi, around 1130, but until its discovery was only known through literary evidence from the 12th and 13th centuries onwards.
While only 20 percent of the site has been excavated, several campaigns of archaeological research have revealed the ruins of a number of buildings in three sectors of the site. These include a prayer wall (musallā), a minaret, nine mosques, a madrasa and several other structures, and a necropolis with about 70 graves. This settlement constitutes perhaps the most important western mediaeval Islamic site in Europe.
The site is under the custody of the Heritage Department of the Province of Algarve and the Municipality of Aljezur. It offers unique opportunities for archaeological and historical research, conservation and archaeological research techniques, training and public tourism. AKTC has entered a partnership with the University and the Municipality to collaborate on:
- site conservation and management;
- ownership and legal protection; and
- site interpretation and public access.
AKTC completed a territorial survey by drone topography and site photography in 2020 and is assisting the Portuguese authorities to develop a framework for a future site management plan.
Masterpieces from the Aga Khan Museum collection have been exhibited on multiple occasions. These include an exhibition titled “The Paths of the Princes”, in partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and at the Noble Hall of the Portuguese Parliament, where an exhibition titled “Ideals of Leadership” was specifically curated by AKTC for that venue.
The inaugural ceremony of the Aga Khan Music Awards was held in Lisbon, in March 2019. The three-day ceremony featured concerts, including a performance of the Aga Khan Master Musicians with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, juried competitions and winners’ seminars. Other music-related initiatives include:
- support to the Évora festival through the sponsorship of musicians associated with the Aga Khan Music Programme (AKMP);
- musical performances at the Portuguese Parliament to celebrate Navroz (New Year), in partnership with the Commission for Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities; and
- concerts in partnership with several civil society organisations for a wide range of audiences and in multiple venues, such as the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon City Hall, the Electricity Museum and the Serralves Foundation.
The award ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) was held at the São Jorge Castle Lisbon in September 2013. Ancillary events included a concert of the Kronos Quartet and fado singer Tânia Oleiro at the Jerónimos Monastery, architecture exhibits and conferences in collaboration with Portuguese architects, and an exhibit on remains of Islamic heritage in Portugal, in collaboration with the Gulbenkian Foundation. AKAA has also partnered with the Lisbon Architecture Trienalle on their cycle of conferences, Distância Crítica (Critical Distance), and in curating exhibitions for the event.