The opening ceremony of new halls of the Paris Louvre museum dedicated to Islamic art has been held.
The ceremony was joined by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his wife Mehriban Aliyeva and President of the French Republic Francois Hollande.
President of the French Republic Francois Hollande met the President of Azerbaijan and his wife.
Addressing the ceremony, Director-General of the Louvre Henri Loyrette noted that France attaches great importance to the preservation of all cultures, including Islamic art. From this standpoint, the Louvre Museum is currently playing an important part in intercultural dialogue. The new halls provide the opportunity for familiarization with important features of Islamic civilization.
Speaking at the ceremony, President of France Francois Hollande said Paris was proud to establish a department of Islamic art at the Louvre museum and to demonstrate its rich collection. The French President said the main objective of the project, which emerged as an idea in 2003 and was initiated in 2008, was to demonstrate the versatility and universal significance of the Louvre and show the attitude of France to the Islamic civilization. Expressing his gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev and other partners for their support in implementing the project, Francois Hollande said: “I want to express my deep gratitude to those who have shown good will and provided assistance at the required time, in particular the President of the Azerbaijan Republic and other distinguished guests. They are among our many partners. They are friends of France. They have provided significant assistance in implementing this project. I do hope that this goodwill gesture will be continued in the future.”
The French President indicated that by contributing to the dialogue among civilizations, the project provides visitors of the museum with the opportunity to become familiar with the East and determine a correlation between European and Islamic cultures.
Then the guests reviewed the “Islamic art” section of the Louvre. It was noted that the creation of this section was a special milestone in the history of the museum. This section contains works of architecture, art and other cultural expressions of Islamic civilization. The “Islamic art” section of the museum consists of items related to the cultures of various Muslim countries. Over 5,000 works of art are exhibited here, including various pottery items made from glass, ceramics and metal, carpets, clothes and miniatures, as well as over a thousand unfinished and damaged creative works. The section of the museum which also displays artifacts related to Azerbaijan has works of art relating to the states that existed in different periods of Islamic history.
It was mentioned that, along with France, an important part in the opening of new halls had been played by Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Oman and Morocco.
After reviewing the exhibits on display at the “Islamic art” section of the museum, the visitors posed for photographs.
Then, President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mrs. Aliyeva were photographed in the museum courtyard.
The Louvre, considered one of the most famous museums in the world, was opened in 1793 in the building of the Royal Palace. Initially, the area of the museum located in the heart of Paris was 60,000 square meters, but now it has increased three-fold. In terms of its area, the Louvre is the world’s third biggest and the most visited museum. In 2011 alone the museum was visited by 8.8 million people.