© Great Museums Television
June 23, 2016
Pictured Above: Jean-Luc Martinez (President-Director of The Louvre Museum) being interviewed by Philippe de Montebello, with Marc Doyle in the foreground.
We started developing the Great Museums episode on Islamic Masterpieces more than three years ago. It has been an extraordinary adventure filled with various twists and turns.
Today, at The Met, and three weeks ago, at The Louvre, I had the cathartic experience of asking the Curators of the Islamic Collections, in both museums, to tell me how they hoped that visitors to the Islamic Collections at their museums would be affected, changed by, transformed by, the experience of visiting their museums. Both groups of Curators expressed the same emotions.
They basically said that if a person entered their collections with an open mind, and they let the reality and truth of the collections wash over them, they would find that there were very strong and elemental connections between the cultural history of the West and the cultural history of the Islamic world.
That is the basic premise of this film. There are many things that divide the Islamic world the Western world today. However, through the appreciation of art we can find many points of commonality between the two worlds. And, these points of commonality are the foundation for building understanding, acceptance and respect; which are, as we all know, the building blocks for a productive future.
In summary, I have learned a great deal about something that I have known very little about, and it has been a humbling and exhilarating experience for me and for the Great Museums team.
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