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The Louvre’s New Islamic Galleries

It consists of ground- and lower-ground-level interior spaces topped by a golden, undulating roof that seems to float within the Neo-Classical Visconti Courtyard in the middle of the Louvre’s south wing, right below the museum’s most popular galleries, where the Mona Lisa and Veronese’s “Wedding Feast of Cana” are hung.

This deftly engineered design is the work of two architects, the Italian Mario Bellini and the Frenchman Rudy Ricciotti, who won an international competition.

When the plans were first unveiled, the architects said, the roof resembled a “a scarf floating within the space” a somewhat loaded description, perhaps, considering that last year the French officially banned full veils in public places.
The museum’s “luminous veil,” or “flying carpet” as it has also been called, covers some 30,000 square feet of gallery space on the ground and lower floors. The new galleries, roughly four times as large as the space previously devoted to Islamic art at the Louvre, house a collection spanning 1,200 years of history, from the 7th through the 19th centuries, and includes glass works, ceramics, metalwork, books, manuscripts, textiles and carpets.

Delicate manuscripts and textiles are displayed in the lower-floor galleries, where there is no natural light, while vitrines upstairs display stone sculptures, glassware and metalwork. (These angled glass cabinets — the work of the architect and museum designer Renaud Piérard allow art and artifacts to be seen from all angles. “It is very important to have perception of objects, their shapes, their profiles and not to hang them like pictures against a wall,” Ms. Makariou said.)

My Photo
I am very interested in Islamic Art and modern museums, so when in Paris I realized that this exhibition will be open at the public the day I flied back to Argentina, I felt really happy, I was there at the morning with lots of time to enjoy and explore both, exhibition (new ways to present the works in glass cabinets)and the light given by the artistic roof that kept changing with the sunbeams

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Additional Photos by Maria Ocampos (nikkitta) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1407 W: 9 N: 2765] (11170)
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