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Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris, France

Founded in 1893 with works of art confiscated during the Revolution and augmented by Napoleon’s plunder, the Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world. In 2012 it underwent its first major architectural change since I.M. Pei’s dramatic restructuring 23 years erlier, when the new Islamic Galleries were opened. Designed by Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, the 3,500-sq metre space on two floors in the Coeur Visconti brings together the collections from the Louvre and from the Musée des Arts Décorative. “It is a whole museum within a museum,” Sophie Makariou, chief curator of Islamic art, told Thomas Roueché in his report for Cornucopia 48. The sweep of the galleries through history build to a final flourish: a 12-metre wall of 572 Iznik tiles.

In May 2014 the Turkish government requested the return of the İznik tiles from the tombs of Selim II and Murat III, and the Mahmud I Library.

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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
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