Advertise here

Institut du monde arabe (Arab World Institute)


  - 1 opinions

A nice display of Arabic culture

Published by L Ge — 3 years ago

Arab World Institute is a large building totally covered with glass on the left bank of River Seine. I walked past this building many times without realising what it was until I saw posters promoting an exhibition at Arab World Institute on the exterior of buses all around Paris last November. That exhibition was called 'Ocean Explorers', showing the history of Arabs travelling to other countries by sea. Those posters attracted my attention, so I went to see that exhibition at Arab World Institute.

Although the building of Arab World Institute is large, not all parts of it are the exhibition rooms. The rest includes a restaurant, a library, and other rooms. The interior design of the building looked Arabic and luxury. The ticket to the exhibition 'Ocean Explorers' cost 12 euros. 

There were a variety of exhibits in this exhibition, including paintings, books, sculptures, etc.. Some of them were only about the Arabic culture related to travelling by sea, but the others were originally from other cultures and showed the communications between Ancient Arabs and people of other parts of the world by sea. Now let me show you some photos of the exhibits:

A nice display of Arabic culture

This is an Arabic painting of a phoenix painted in traditional inks on paper. It seems that the phoenix exists in every culture across the world, huh? The label beside this painting said that Arabs used to believe that the phoenix protected people on the sea. As far as I can remember, in other cultures, the phoenix is also a protective animal, isn't it? This photo is not clear enough, but it is still can be seen that every detail of the phoenix has been depicted. The golden parts of the painting were really shiny.

A nice display of Arabic culture

This one is an Arabic drawing of monster on the sea. I don't remember the name of the monster, but I'm sure it's a powerful animal because it's huge and has a long horn on its forehead. Below the monster are several people fighting with it with several different weapons, but the monster doesn't look scared at all. Maybe it's because it has hard scales to protect itself.

A nice display of Arabic culture

This is one page of an old Arabic book. This picture shows a holy person riding a fish on the sea. Just like how the holy people are depicted in the West, the holy Arab has a halo around his head. Although this fish is big, I doubt a fish like this could burden an adult human...Poor fish! Anyway, this is a beautiful picture. I like its composition and colours.

A nice display of Arabic culture

Lost at sea? No worries! Just use this little gadget! This picture shows a simple device invented by Arabs to be used when travelling on the sea. It's a knotted string clinging to a card, which was used by sailors to determine their own locations on the sea. For more details, if you zoom in, you can read the explanation below the picture.

A nice display of Arabic culture

What a delicate little sculpture! This is an ivory sculpture unearthed in Italy. Apparently, it's not only about Italy, for it has Arabic elements. This sculpture shows that Italy used to be influenced by Arabic culture.

A nice display of Arabic culture

A nice display of Arabic culture

Here are some Chinese artefacts. The upper photo shows bronze mirrors, the bottom one porcelain wares. These artefacts, along with many Chinese artefacts, were found in a shipwreck in the sea near Indonesia. The shipwreck was an Arab merchant ship, which was travelling from China back to the Middle East when it sank in the sea. It has been determined that the accident happened during Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) because the Chinese goods in the ship were produced in that period.

Although the exhibition is already finished, you can explore other exhibitions at Arab World Institute. The exhibition area of Arab World Institute was really pleasant: it was at a comfortable temperature, the light was not too bright or too dark. And the staff were friendly. That's why I rate it 5 stars here. 

Photo gallery


Rate and comment about this place!

Do you know Institut du monde arabe (Arab World Institute)? Share your opinion about this place.

Rate and comment about this place!

More places in this city


Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Wait a moment, please

Run hamsters! Run!