Royal Cardinal Exhibition and Museums

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The Arab World Institute; the Middle East comes to Paris

The Arab World Institute; the Middle East comes to Paris

The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) is a Parisian cultural organisation dedicated to disseminating information about the cultural and spiritual values of the Arab world. Situated near the Hotel au Royal Cardinal, it offers excellent exhibitions throughout the year. Extend your discovery of this culture to its culinary pleasures by visiting the three restaurants of the Arab World Institute.


A unique institution in the world

This building bordering the Seine, not far from Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Grand Mosque of Paris, was built by the architect Jean Nouvel in 1987. From the huge forecourt the facade of the building, combining Western and Eastern influences, is easily recognisable.

The Arab World Institute places Arab culture in the spotlight by revealing the richness and diversity of the Arab-Islamic civilisation from its beginnings to the present day. Throughout four levels are distributed more than 560 cultural artefacts, including ceramics, bronzes, woodwork, textiles, illuminations and scientific objects ... a good part of the Islamic heritage held by the Louvre, to which were added loans from Tunisian and Syrian museums. You can admire, among other things, ancient fragments of a Palmyra tomb that is no longer extant, an Egyptian fountain dating from the 14th century and a calligraphy workshop, as well as ceramics, clothing, musical instruments and medieval astrolabes that clearly demonstrate the brilliance of the Arab scientists of that time. These historical pieces are complemented by various contemporary works.


Temporary exhibitions not to be missed

Major temporary exhibitions are regularly presented by the Arab World Institute. You have until August 5th, 2018 to discover the fascinating exhibition entitled ‘The Epic of the Suez Canal, from the Pharaohs to the Present Day’.

Until January 6th, 2019, the exhibition ‘An Open Eye on the Arab World’ reveals an evolutionary and collective work in which some 240 artists are involved, each continuing the work with little knowledge of what has gone before, evoking the ‘exquisite corpse’ method of the surrealists.


Taste the cuisine of the Middle East

Continue your discovery of the Arab world via the culinary pleasures offered in the three restaurants of the Arab World Institute. At the Zyriab, a chic and elegant restaurant perched on the 9th floor, you can try Lebanese delights.

At Le Moucharabieh (9th floor) you can enjoy a full meal for just ten euros. This is an opportunity to sample some tasty specialities, including baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh and more, without forgetting the tea ... mint, of course!

The Café Littéraire, located on the ground floor of the building, is a charmingly casual place where you can treat your taste buds to the unique flavours of an assortment of starters (mezze) or Middle Eastern pastries such as baklava and gazelle horns.


Photo credit : Jean-Pierre Dalbéra ©