Art & Lifestyle | 22 September 2012

Renault sponsors the Louvre’s department of Islamic Arts

by Groupe Renault

Today, the Louvre opens its Department of Islamic Arts to the public in Paris. Dedicated to forging closer ties between the worlds of industry and art, and with its own unique collection of more than 300 works, Renault is lending its support by contributing to the restoration and installation of a Mamluk porch and a mashrabiyya from the Ottoman period, masterpieces of this new Aisle of the Louvre.

Musée du Louvre, department of Islamic Arts
Architects : Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti
© M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre
© 2012 Musée du Louvre / Philippe Ruault

Restoration of the Mamluk Porch

One of the masterpieces of the Collection. Standing 4 meters high and weighing five tons, the Mamluk porch dates from the 15th century. This covered passageway no doubt opened onto an outdoor space in a city. Thanks to the recent discovery of archive drawings, the restoration of the Mamluk porch will enable the complete reconstruction of the exterior façade, which was believed lost, and thus allow full appreciation of this monumental ensemble. By funding the restoration and installation of the Mamluk porch, Renault is contributing to the reconstitution of a true masterpiece, as spectacular as it is monumental, and reaffirming its longstanding and pioneering commitment to patronage of the arts.

Egypt, Cairo, second half of 15th century
Musée du Louvre, department od Islamic Arts
Bought in Caira by G. de Saint-Maurice before 1887 ;
Dépôt, musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 2006, AD RI 2003/26-1
© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN / Hervé Lewandowski 

Renault also took part in the restoration of a mashrabiyya from the Ottoman period, which you can spot in the background in this picture :

 © M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre
© 2012 Musée du Louvre / Philippe Ruault

A daring architectural plan at the Louvre Museum

The Visconti courtyard [April 3rd 2011]
Musée du Louvre, Department of Islamic Arts
Architects : Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti
© M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre
© Musée du Louvre / SPACEM

20 years on from the Louvre’s great pyramid project, the creation of a new Department of Islamic Art within the Musée du Louvre represents a milestone in the history of the museum and former palace. The projects dates back to 2003 and its refurbishment has been underway since 2008.

The Cour Visconti provides the setting that will play host to Islamic Art. Architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini rose to the challenge of covering the courtyard with an undulating glass roof. The galleries thereby created do not detract from the historical façades, while providing 2,800 square meters (over 30,000 square feet) of exhibition space, bathed in discreet natural lighting.

Musée du Louvre, Department of Islamic Arts
Architects : Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti
© M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre
© 2011 Musée du Louvre / Antoine Mongodin

Beneath a gilded metal casing, the Cour Visconti roofing structure consists of a free-form lattice of steel tubes and glass. Its execution was another of the project’s architectural challenges. It is made of 8,000 tubes and 8 pillars.  

Musée du Louvre, Department of Islamic Arts
Architects : Mario Bellini andRudy Ricciotti
© M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre
© 2012 Musée du Louvre / Antoine Mongodin

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