Aga Khan Museum in Toronto

There were lustrous ceramics, shimmering skeins of silk, finely carved ivory, illuminated texts and all the latest medical instruments. Lavishly paraded through the streets of 10th-century Cairo, the Fatimid caliphs used the public display of royal bounty to help cement their new capital as the most important cultural centre of the Islamic world. Masters of stagecraft and the symbolic power of art, they developed a culture of exhibiting private treasures in public long before museums began in the west. Now, 1,000 years later, one of their descendants is continuing the tradition – in a business park on the edge of Toronto.

Read More: Aga Khan Museum: North America Finally Gets a Home for Islamic Art

See also: Toronto Set to Unveil First Museum of Islamic Culture in North America