Alwaleed Foundation donated $ 23 m to Louvre
Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah with French President François Hollande.
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PARIS: ARAB NEWS
Thursday 20 September 2012
French President François Hollande and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation — Global, accompanied by Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, vice chairwoman and secretary-general of Alwaleed Foundation, inaugurated the new Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre in Paris during a ceremony on Tuesday. Henrie Loyrette, director of the Louvre Museum, and Aurélie Filippetti, minister of culture and communications, were also present. Alwaleed Foundation donated $ 23 million to the Louvre Museum in 2005.
The ceremony began with a speech by Hollande after which the president, Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah toured the new Department of Islamic Art at Louvre.
Prince Alwaleed said: "Our support to establishing the New Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre is a reflection of our nation's active role in bridging the gap between various cultures and to foster mutual understanding under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah."
The creation of a new Department of Islamic Art within the Musée du Louvre represents a milestone in the history of the museum. An architectural, cultural, artistic, and civilizational offering, the new department invites visitors on a veritable sensory voyage of discovery into its Islamic collection.
The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation — Global is the principle donor of the Islamic Arts Hall at the Louvre, the most visited museum in the world. The Hall exhibits over 10,000 valuable Islamic art pieces — some never displayed anywhere else in the world. The exhibition is housed in a striking gallery space, two-thirds of which was constructed underground, within the Cour Visconti, a large courtyard within the Louvre grounds. These contemporary and innovative new spaces, are designed by international architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini.
The Alwaleed Foundation promotes this Hall as part of its ongoing effort to celebrate commonalities rather than differences. This historic gift to the Louvre is the largest made by the Foundation and represents its ongoing commitment to the preservation of Islamic heritage and the promotion of global cultural understanding.
Alwaleed Foundation's support is an extension to its role in global cultural understanding also through the establishment of six academic centers with study programs that encourage tolerance and mutual understanding, advance scholarship in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, support opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation among religions and cultures and participate in the preservation of the Islamic literary and artistic heritage around the world.
The ceremony was attended by Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan and the first lady; Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, prime minister of Kuwait; Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al-Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority; Princess Meryem of Morocco; and Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamed Al-Mahrizi, Oman's minister of tourism.
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