February 22, 2018

A new video series from AfricaNews explores the cultural diplomacy efforts of the UAE government in its first episode.

Now, an exhibition featuring more than 100 artworks and models of the museum has turned the spotlight on the institution itself. It illuminates the story of the Louvre and its transformation from a medieval fortress 800 years ago, to a grandiose palace and then a home to academies and studios before it became the world’s most visited museum and a cultural titan.

Last 30th of September, the French and Dutch ministers of Culture announced publicly the join purchase by the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum of a pair of portraits by Rembrandt. A premiere in the history of museology, and a new step in European non-governmental relations.

We’ve had an era of “cultural diplomacy”, when museums aspired to spread global goodwill. Now, as Isis continues to attack both humans and human heritage, it’s time for a more hard-headed approach – the defense of civilization and its treasures. And France is leading the way.

[A statement] said the move followed a decision by French authorities not to send for exhibition in Tehran several items from the Louvres' collections, although Tehran has twice loaned items to Paris for exhibits as agreed under a 2004 accord.

For the first time, the ancient past of Saudi Arabia is at the heart of an exhibition at Paris’ iconic Louvre museum, which is showing works that have never left their country before.