I’ve been back from France for two months now and I’m going into withdrawal. I need to be sent back for my own mental health. One of the stops I’d make tout de suite would be the new galleries at the Louvre featuring Les Arts d’Islam. Nestled under a curving glass roof in the Cour Visconti, which had been sitting empty, the glass-walled, two-storey building provides 30,000 square feet of display space. The new wing is half underground so as not to block the views from the surrounding galleries.
Over 2,000 artifacts represent the best of 11 centuries and a huge geographical swath from Spain to India to North Africa. The Lion of Monzón, shown here, is from a Spanish fountain. There are elaborately decorated ceremonial daggers, exquisite rugs, and fragile illuminated manuscripts.
The new gallery links with another new gallery dedicated to the Middle Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, including a 6th century mosaic floor from a church in Lebanon. Together, they provide a much more complete record of an important part of our cultural heritage.
The golden, undulating roof of the new gallery may be made of glass, but it resembles the dessert sand dunes, or dunes de sable (doon duh sabluh) typical of many of lands these objects once called home.
- Islamic Art Collections at the Louvre … (travelphotomedia.com)
- Islamic Cartoon Row, Flying Carpet Hang Over Louvre – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)