We at Friendly Rentals like to share our experiences and local knowledge, as well as reveal secrets and let you in on what’s truly hot and what’s not in our Friendly cities. So, as a follow up to our ´Paris tourist attraction for dummies` blog it gives us great pleasure to introduce you to the ´l`Institut du Monde Arabe` or Arab World Institute (AWI) in Paris, a hidden treasure….truly a diverse, innovative, modern and distinctive building right down from its stunning exterior architecture to the exhibitions hosted inside, that is an great representation of the cosmopolitan and “richesse culturelle” of this enchanting city.
This award winning Institute was set up in the 1980s following an agreement with Paris and 18 Arabic countries, with the aim of disseminating information about the Arabic world, in addition to promoting cooperation and cultural exchanges between France and the Arab world.
Located next to the River Seine in the heart of Paris, what makes this building so uncompromisingly different is the fact that it is very rectangular and the walls comprise moving geometric motifs which are actually 240 motor-controlled apertures that open and close every hour. Furthermore, the building houses a museum, library, auditorium, restaurant, offices, a permanent display of Arabic artefacts, and hosts diverse exhibitions and expositions on a regular basis. The institute offers an array of events including guided tours, workshops, audio guides, interactive exhibitions so you can see the major art works on display, films, dance performances (Flamenco at the moment until October), musical performances, Arabic classes, conferences on current issues every Thursday evening, space for young people, and up to recently a temporary exposition on Islamic art, amongst others. The list is endless.
In addition, they are currently setting up an exhibition on the Arab world and it`s identity, which will involve Islamic art comprising a combination of ethnography and contemporary artworks aiming to demonstrate the Arab-Muslim approach on art from the dawn of the Arab civilisation to today, and their far-reaching influence from Andalusia to the boundaries of Asia. The diversity of Arabic culture, languages and, traditions will be represented in what will be an extremely interesting display of art works, accompanied by another exhibition open to the public soon and entitled ´Contemporary Arab Art.`
There are exhibitions, activities, and things to do in the Arab World Institute all year round, so whenever you choose to visit Paris its just a case of seeing what’s on and when. It is truly recommended by Friendly Rentals, so mark it on your calendar and pop it on your to-do-list this season for your trip to the city of lights.