Paris: A new wing at the Louvre


After ten years of work, a showcase for the Louvre’s magnificent collection of Islamic Art has opened at the famous Paris museum.

Saudi’s Prince Walid bin Talal donated $20 million for the construction of this wing hoping it would  ‘assist in the understanding of the true meaning of Islam, a religion of humanity, forgiveness and acceptance of other cultures.’

It would be nice if he were right.

Designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, the gallery is situated in the Cour Visconti; the open courtyard has been covered with a roof that seems to  float in the air like a golden scarf or a dragonfly’s wing. A creation of glass panels and metallic glass sheets composed of 2,350 triangles with a gold-coloured finish, it rests on eight slender pillars.

Inside the elegant exhibition space ,Islamic Art  from the year 632 to 1800 is displayed. There’s a wall of Ottoman tiles, an Egyptian porch, carpets, boxes, carafes, paintings, ceramics and more. A tactile trail around the exhibits, designed for the visually impaired, can be enjoyed by all; you can let your fingertips explore moulds of ten key exhibits.

A multimedia installation gives the chronology and geography of these outstanding artefacts.

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