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Islamic Art Exhibit Opens At The Louvre

A new Islamic Arts Department has been unveiled at Paris's Louvre Museum, with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev joining French President Francois Hollande at the opening ceremony on September 18. Intended to celebrate "the radiant face of a great civilization," according to the Louvre, the $130 million project is largely financed by donors from across the Islamic world. Some 3,000 artifacts are on display, spanning 1,300 years of Islamic history on three continents.

A woman examines a box called "Al-Mughira's Pyxis" on a visit to the new Islamic Arts Department at the Louvre.
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A woman examines a box called "Al-Mughira's Pyxis" on a visit to the new Islamic Arts Department at the Louvre.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (back row, center) attended the opening ceremony of the new department.
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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (back row, center) attended the opening ceremony of the new department.

French President Francois Hollande (second from right) attended the opening, alongside his companion Valerie Trierweiler (center), Islamic Arts Department head Sophie Makariou (right), and Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti.
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French President Francois Hollande (second from right) attended the opening, alongside his companion Valerie Trierweiler (center), Islamic Arts Department head Sophie Makariou (right), and Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti.

Some 3,000 artifacts are on display.
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Some 3,000 artifacts are on display.

The artifacts come from a swath of the globe stretching from Spain to India.
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The artifacts come from a swath of the globe stretching from Spain to India.

Saudi billionaire Prince Waleed bin Talal (center), his wife Princess Amira al-Tawil (left), and Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva at the exhibit.
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Saudi billionaire Prince Waleed bin Talal (center), his wife Princess Amira al-Tawil (left), and Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva at the exhibit.

Visitors examine a vase titled "Paon-Aquamanile" from Spain.
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Visitors examine a vase titled "Paon-Aquamanile" from Spain.

Some pieces date back to the 7th century.
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Some pieces date back to the 7th century.

French President Francois Hollande listens to Sophie Makariou, the head of the Islamic Arts Department.
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French President Francois Hollande listens to Sophie Makariou, the head of the Islamic Arts Department.

A lectern for the Koran and lamps from the Middle East dating from the 14th century are among the artifacts on display.
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A lectern for the Koran and lamps from the Middle East dating from the 14th century are among the artifacts on display.

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