From 9 May to 22 November 2015 you will find a mosque in Venice. This is the first time that the 20,000 Muslims who live in the city will have a proper mosque to pray in. But this is not an ordinary mosque. It is a unique cultural exhibit. The mosque is located inside an old cathedral which was abandoned 40 years ago.
As part of the 2015 La Biennale Art exhibition in Venice, the Iceland Pavilion commissioned "The Mosque" - a work by artist Christoph Büchel, working in collaboration with the Muslim Communities of Venice and Iceland. Like Venice, Iceland has a small migrant community of Muslims who have been trying to build a mosque in Iceland but have only now received permission to build one. Unfortunately, in Venice the Muslims have not been given any permission to build a mosque.
The Mosque by Christoph Buchel "draws attention to the political institutionalization of segregation and prejudice, and to settlement policies that lie at the heart of global ethnic and religious conflicts today." Controversy has erupted after the inauguration of the exhibition and it is feared that Muslims will be prevented from praying there.
If you are planning to visit Venice this summer make an effort to visit this mosque which is located in the historic church of Santa Maria della Misericordia in the Cannaregio sestiere.