Monday Mar 12, 201204:29 PM GMT
Louvre Museum to unveil new wing for Islamic arts
The new wing of Islamic arts, Louvre, Paris
Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:28PM
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The world famous museum of Louvre is planning to unveil a new wing for Arts of Islam to celebrate the growing Islamic culture in the contemporary world.

The new wing will showcase more than 18,000 artworks from the Arab world and Europe, some of which will be displayed for the first time.

"The whole structure seems to be floating in mid-air," said the Italian architect responsible for the glass-roofed wing for Islamic arts, Mario Bellini.

Designers of the structure say they aimed at creating a "gentle and non-violent integration" of an architectural design within a place of historic importance.

Erected within the museum, the new building has been covered inside and out with sheets of golden metallic links that will shelter various Islamic artworks in an enormous gallery of about 3,500 square meters.

Programmed to be opened to the public this September, the gallery will display works from the seventh to the 10th centuries at courtyard level and exhibit works from the 11th to the 19th centuries along with a prestigious collection of carpets in the basement.

France covered 30 percent of the whole cost, with Morocco, Kuwait, Oman and Azerbaijan also contributing to the project.

The biggest sponsor was the Saudi Al Waleed Bin Talal Foundation that gave €17m as soon as the project was announced.

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