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Destinations · Europe · france · Paris · Museums and galleries ·

Galleries of Islamic Art at the Louvre

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Galleries of Islamic Art at the Louvre

The new Islamic art galleries of the Louvre is the museum's second most significant and daring project of contemporary architecture since the famous glass pyramid that caused quite a stir in its time. Admittedly, unlike the pyramid, designed by I.M.Pei twenty years ago, the Islamic wing is concealed from passing tourists: set in the Visconti Courtyard, it can only be accessed through the museum's official entrance, from the glass pyramid side. Designed by the Italian architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini, the pavilion is centred on the giant glass roof that literally 'floats' in the courtyard like a huge gilded wind-blown sail. The glass construction is covered on the inside and outside with a fine net of metal chains, its texture interplaying beautifully with the opulent Neo-Classical façades of the 17th-century buildings flanking the courtyard. In the sunlight, the deep old gold tone gleams with the fascinating elegance of the opulent fabric of ancient court costumes. The architects poetically refer to the building as a 'dragonfly wing'. The roof construction, held by eight columns, weighs an impressive 135 tonnes; installing it was never going to be an easy task. During the production stage, each of the 8000 metal net-covered glass panels was given a number that indicated its exact place in the completed construction; the precision-fitted joints preclude the slightest risk of water accumulating in the seams.
Covering an area of 2800 square metres, the new Islamic art galleries are set on two floors: on ground level and underground. In the courtyard area, the glass walls let the historical façade of the museum building optically enter the new space; 6-metre wide stone-colour concrete stairs lead to the other exhibition hall. The permanent exhibition comprises over 2500 artefacts, chronologically tracing the development of Islamic culture between the 7th and 19th centuries. The Louvre collection of Islamic art is one of the most extensive in the world; many of the exhibits are going on view for the first time ever.

Place de Louvre



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