Louvre to open its new Islamic Art Galleries
Paris – on September 22nd 2012, the Louvre will celebrate the opening of its new Islamic Art Galleries.
The Galleries will provide a permanent home for the Museum’s un- rivalled Collection of Islamic Art, the largest in France and one of the most important in the world. Over 2,500 objects, many of which have never been on public display before, will occupy a surface of nearly 3,000 square meters. The opening marks a key moment in the history of the Museum and is the first major architectural interven- tion since I.M. Pei’s glass Pyramid in 1989.
The objects on display have been drawn from the Museum’s own extensive collection consisting of some 15,000 pieces but also in- clude 3,400 works on permanent loan from the Collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The galleries will present the entire cul- tural breadth of the Islamic world, from Spain to India, between the seventh and nineteenth century.
Obras em Destaque
The new Galleries, designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, will feature a striking contemporary glass pavilion on two levels, covered by a seemingly floating golden, iridescent steel roof. The Galleries will open up the Museum’s courtyard of the Cour Vis- conti to the public for the first time.
Conceived by architect and museographer Renaud Piérard, the interi- or design of the new galleries will enable visitors to contextualize the works on display, situate them historically and geographically, decipher motifs and figures, and even test their own conclusions against those of specialists.
Situated in the Cour Visconti the new galleries are surrounded by a redesigned exhibition space dedicated to “the East Mediterranean in the Roman Empire” that presents galleries of Late Antiquity from the eastern Mediterranean, including works from Roman and Coptic Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine. This context will give the vis- itor the opportunity to explore aspects of contrast and continuity be- tween collections.
Contemporary Art at the Louvre
On the occasion of the opening of the new galleries and until spring 2013, the Louvre will host a Contemporary Festival of Islamic Arts, beginning on September 29th 2012 with an open air concert by Youssou Ndour in front of the Pyramid.
Throughout the year the Museum will be hosting a rich programme of public events entitled “Cartes blanches”, a platform for the debate around Islamic art and culture which will bring together contempo- rary international artists from all disciplines. Confirmed participants include illustrious names such as Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiaro- stami, the Turkish writer and Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, the choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Lebanese artist Walid Raad.
Furthermore, the festival will feature works by artists such as the French-Moroccan photographer Yto Barrada, the Franco-Libyan musician Ibrahim Maalouf and the Franco-Egyptian musician Khalil Chahine.
The building of this new wing has been made possible through the generous support of numerous sponsors: the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, His Highness Sheikh Sabah al- Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait in the name of the State of Kuwait, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said Sultan of Oman and the Omani people, The Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the Total Foun- dation and Lafarge. In addition, the project has received financial support from individual donors, foundations and corporations: Frédéric Jousset, the Orange Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
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