Sultanganj Buddha

A new permanent exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has opened this week, titled Faith in Birmingham

Great for an RE school trip, the exhibition provides an insight into many of the religious groups that make up Birmingham’s diverse communities, exploring their traditions, beliefs and customs.

Each of the six largest religions represented in Birmingham – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism – feature within the exhibition.

It’s been created by museum staff who have worked closely with the relevant religious communities in the city to give a personal presentation of different faiths, as well as an insight into their shared values and history within the city.

Over the next two years, Birmingham Museums will work with other faiths to incorporate more voices and communities into the gallery.

The Sultanganj Buddha and the Qur’an

Featured objects in the exhibition include the Sultanganj Buddha – a copper Buddha figure dated by archaeologists to between 500 to 700 AD – and pages from one of the world’s oldest surviving Qur’ans.

The Sultanganj Buddha has been on display within the museum since it first opened 130 years ago, and is particularly revered by the Buddhist community around Birmingham.

Meanwhile, the Birmingham Qur’an is said to contain fragments of the earliest Qur’an known to exist.

Carbon dating places the creation of the parchment on which it is written between 568 and 645AD – in or just after the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, who is believed to have died in 632.

The Birmingham Qur’an will be on display until 3rd August.

School visits

Teachers are able to prebook a visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and should e-mail to arrange specific tours or workshops.

For further information visit