Cultural Cooperation between France and Egypt
The Louvre and the Museum of Islamic Arts of Cairo Signed a Cooperation AgreementMay 19th, 2016
Along with the re-opening of the Islamic arts of Cairo, a cooperation agreement has been signed on Sunday 15th of May, between Jean-Luc Martinez, the Louvre Director, and Khaled El Enany, the new Egyptian Minister of Antiquities.
Under the direction of the Louvre Conseil, who coordinates this type of cultural and scientific cooperation, three different projects will happen between the two institutions: training of the personals, preparation of common exhibitions and organisation of international conferences. Yannick Lintz, Director of the Louvre Conseil, explains that cooperation is already under way: “three young Egyptian curators are already in the Louvre’s department of Islamic arts to start a project of exhibition on the common history of the two museums. The exhibition will take place in Cairo in 2017 and in Paris in 2018”.
This collaboration follows a long history between France and Egypt. In 1903, the museum of Arab Art of Cairo (as it was called back then) opened in a building designed by a French architect. Between 1926 and 1951, the French Gaston Wiet has directed the museum of Arab Art. The building closed in 2003 for a seven year long renovation orchestrated by the French Adrien Gardère, who also participated at the creation of the Louvre in the city of Lens.
In 2014, the museum of Islamic Arts in Cairo has been severely damaged by the explosion of a car bomb, but the construction work is now almost finished. The museum has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of Islamic Arts in the world with more than 100.000 pieces, from the Omayyad to the Ottomans.
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Gaspard Fontaine & Jessica Sama, CD News