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Saudi Arabia’s Princess Lamia has Unveiled a New Islamic Art Space at the Louvre in Paris

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HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al Saud photographed by Abdullah Al Musharraf for Vogue Arabia June 2019

More than 12 centuries of Islamic art will now be showcased at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The new and expanded Center of Education in the Department of Islamic Art at Musée du Louvre was unveiled on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia‘s Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al Saud, Secretary-General of Alwaleed Philanthropies.

The new spaces will explore Islamic art in the museum’s Department of Islamic Art, with the support of Alwaleed Philanthropies. Featuring 3,000 items collected from Spain to India via the Arabian peninsula and dating from the 7th century to the 19th, the department boasts one of the most extensive collections of Muslim art and artifacts in the world.

The Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Courtesy of Alwaleed Philanthropies

Visitors can not only expect an immersive introduction to Islamic art but also an explanation on its evolution in style, form, and medium due to influences by other artistic traditions.

In a statement, HRH Princess Lamia said, “We believe that art has a special ability to unite people of different cultures and faiths. The new and expanded spaces allow visitors to enjoy world-class Islamic art and appreciate the shared human values expressed in its creativity. Importantly, this space has also been designed to be inclusive of everyone, with interactive features to ensure the art can be experienced by all.”

Alwaleed Philanthropies has had a longstanding partnership with the world-renowned museum dating back to 2002. In 2005 the global philanthropic foundation chaired by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated USD23 million to help construct the Department of Islamic Art.

Thanking Alwaleed Philanthropies for its “commitment in favor of the Islamic Arts Department”, Jean Luc-Martinez, President of the Musée du Louvre said, “Thanks to this redesign, we hope to reach even more visitors, and provide them the keys to understanding the wonderful artistic heritage with which we have been entrusted.”

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