The expansion was completed with the support of Alwaleed Philanthropies from Saudi Arabia, and the foundation’s secretary general, Saudi Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al Saud, was there to commemorate the opening, along with Yannick Lintz, the director of the Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art, thenational.ae reported.
“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,” said Al Saud.
Among the changes are a new entrance area and a temporary exhibition space with interactive displays that trace the history of Islamic art, giving visitors an immersive experience as they enter. The expanded spaces have also been designed to provide full disability access.
“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,” said Jean Luc-Martinez, president of the Musee du Louvre.
It is not the first time that Alwaleed Philanthropies, which was founded by Saudi royal Al Waleed bin Talal, has donated to the museum. In 2005, the non-profit organization provided $23 million to help build its Department of Islamic Art.
The department currently has 3,000 objects on display, sourced from Spain to India and dating back from the 7th to 19th centuries. Featuring both art and artifacts, the pieces provide a timeline of Islamic art’s influences and its evolution in its use of mediums and styles. There are currently 14,000 objects in the department’s entire collection.