This is the exceptional collection in all America, and it is being neglected. I urge you to make the reinstallation of Islam your highest priority. If you were to create an Islamic wing, you’d find that our holdings – splendid bronzes, excellent silver, majestic tiles, gorgeous carpets, intricate woodcarving, masterful pottery, and glorious miniatures – would become as popular as the European paintings. You laugh? These words were recollected by the influential former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Thomas Hoving in his memoir Making the Mummies Dance, remembering an exchange with Maurice Sven Dimand, curator at the Met, in 1967. This was no laughing matter, and in fact, the museum created the Department of Islamic Art eight years later, which became one of the most important exhibition spaces on the subject. In 2003, almost three decades later, the galleries were closed for renovation; the public came face to face with them once again on November 1, 2011.