Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 20, 2022

© M. Bellini – R. Ricciotti / Musée du Louvre; © 2012 Musée du Louvre / Antoine Mongodin

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The Louvre's new clothes

You often hear of a museum opening a new wing, but rarely does it actually look like something that's about to take flight. That's the case with the newly expanded Department of Islamic Art, which recently opened at the Louvre in Paris. The new structure, which was described by architect Mario Bellini as "a headscarf blowing in the wind," is the first to be added to the 16th-century palace since I.M. Pei's once-controversial pyramid opened 24 years ago. The design by Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti manages to mingle the flow and shimmer of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, while echoing the grid of Pei's pyramid. The self-supporting roof, clad in silver and gold mesh, has only a few pillars around the edges, so it seems to levitate. The result is classical, with a touch of whimsy. More than 3000 artworks spanning three continents are displayed for the first time, some dating back to the first millennium. Admission $15; youth under 18 free. [SL]

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