Louvre building new galleries for Islamic art; single largest expansion project since pyramid

PARIS.- The creation of a new wing dedicated to Islamic art at the Louvre represents a decisive phase in the architectural history of the palace and in the development of the museum. The design and installation of these new galleries is the museum’s single largest expansion project since I. M. Pei created the now-famous Pyramid twenty years ago. The new department will soon be home to one of the most exceptional collections of Islamic art in the world, owing to its geographic diversity, the historical periods covered, and the wide variety of materials and techniques represented. This unprecedented project grew out of one of the first observations made by Henri Loyrette upon his appointment as the Louvre’s president and director in 2001: the museum’s collection of Islamic art, due to its existence as a mere section of the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, lacked sufficient space to reveal the full measure of