Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 Reviews

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  • Institut du Monde Arabe
    by GentleSpirit
  • Institut du Monde Arabe
    by GentleSpirit
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    parvis place Mohammed V
    by gwened
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    Outstanding Museum on the Arab World

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 9, 2013

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    Located in a thoroughly modern building near the Latin Quarter, the Musee du Monde Arabe is frankly an outstanding museum that should not be missed when you are in Paris.

    The exhibit on three floors covers various topics, all forms of traditional art and learning.
    There is generous use of multimedia. A thoroughly modern approach to traditional societies.
    What I was looking for the most was their collection of carpets, which to be honest was somewhat disappointing. The entire collection, however, was excellent. The museum is not so large that it overwhelms and the pieces it presents are generally of great quality.

    Sticklers might look at the collection and say that the former french colonies of Morocco and Tunisia are perhaps over-represented in this collection or that not enough attention is paid to ancient Egypt. Both criticisms are fair to an extent. I would say that the museum presents a good cross section of representative arts though the ages, ranging from pottery to the magnificent examples of calligraphy and decoration of religious texts.

    One shortcoming I would note to what I consider an otherwise outstanding museum is that it is inconsistent, in some places it provides translation in others it does not.

    The Paris Museum Card is accepted here for the permanent exhibition.

    Please note-no photography of any kind is permitted inside the museum. Rather stern looking guards but they are actually pretty nice.

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    Institut du Monde Arabe

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 13, 2013

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    1. View from the roof
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    This "Institute of the Arab World" was built in the 1980s and was inaugurated on November 30, 1987 by the President of the French Republic, François Mitterrand. The institute is intended as a "cultural bridge" between France and twenty-two Arab countries.

    From the top (ninth) floor there is a fine view of the River Seine and Notre Dame Cathedral. On the same floor there is an Arab restaurant of the more expensive sort.

    Three floors of the institute are devoted to a museum of Arabic civilization and art. By Parisian standards this is a small and quite conventional museum, but interesting enough provided you have an adequate reading knowledge of French, because the labels and text panels are only in French and not in any other language, not even in Arabic.

    The building of the Institut du Monde Arabe was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel (born 1945), who also designed the stunning new concert house in Copenhagen, the unmistakable new/old opera house in Lyon and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, on the same (left) side of the Seine but about five kilometers further downstream.

    Second photo: The Institut du Monde Arabe from the outside, viewed from Place Mohammed-V.

    >>Next immigration review: La Grande Mosquée de Paris

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    Institute du Monde Arabe

    by gwened Written Sep 7, 2012
    entrance to institut du monde arabe
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    The institute of the Arab world or in French the Institut du Monde Arabe is an oasis in Paris. Its been several years not here,and this past week had the chance to come back and even visit the terrace. The views are magnificent and the food and culture is awesome

    This historical and learning center is a collaboration between France and these Arabs countries, : Algeria, Saudi Arabia,, Bahreïn, Djibouti, Égypt,UAE, Irak, Jordania, Koweït, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Les Comores ,and Yémen.

    It is closed on Mondays. The museum part is open tuedays to fridays from 10h-18 h,Saturdays and Sundays from 10 h -19 h. Night opening hours on Fridays until 21h30; guided visits from tuesdays to fridays at 15h,saturday and sunday at 15h and 16h30. You can buy your tickets online here
    http://www.fnactickets.com/recherche/rechercheRapide.do?search=institut+du+monde+arabe

    The library opens every day from 13h to 20h, except Sundays and Mondays.
    In july and august the open hours are from 13h to 18h from tuesdays to saturdays, closed May 1 and holidays
    Restaurant Noura handle on top terrace level 9 where we were, and their webpage is at http://www.noura.com/traiteur-restaurants-libanais-paris/le-zyriab.html?99460e6242d656997d075e16265da8e4=aada4fad3c8a9989e7dd5916f7202b45

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    Great Bookstore

    by Maymuna Written Sep 23, 2011

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    I looooooooooooove the bookstore! It's absolutely amazing. You can find so many books on Islamic history, philosophy, etc. Whenever I'm in Paris I just wish I could buy the entire bookstore at the Institut du Monde Arabe.

    The coffee shop in the other building is really nice as well.

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    Institut du Monde Arabe. 5th.

    by pfsmalo Written May 29, 2011

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    Name-plate of the IMA
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    The Institut, known as the IMA, is well renowned for it's exhibitions and concerts, but what a lot of people don't know is that it also has a terrace, up on the 9th floor, that is free to visit and has some great views of Paris. Sweeping views from the Defence to Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis past Sacré Coeur and on to the heights of the Buttes Chaumont in one incredible vista. Only thing missing is the Eiffel Tower....

    Institut du Monde Arabe

    1, rue des Fossés St. Bernard

    Place Mohammed V

    75236 Paris Cedex 05

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    Institut du Monde Arabe

    by MM212 Updated Dec 7, 2010

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    l'Institut du Monde Arabe (Jan 07)
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    L'Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) was established in the 1980's to promote cultural exchange and understanding between France and the Arab world. An award winning modern structure combining elements of Islamic architecture, designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel, was built to house the institute. It contains a library and bookshop focusing on the middle east, and a café and gallery selling artefacts from all over the Arab world. The most interesting feature is the exhibition centre which frequently holds art and cultural exhibits related to the middle east in association with world renowned museums (New York/Paris/Berlin/London). In early 2007, when I took the attached photos, the excellent exhibition "Venise et l'Orient" was held ("Venice and the Islamic World", later also moved to New York's Met Museum). Other exhibitions previously held include Morrocan Ceramics, the Birth of Egyptology, and Aleppo in Photographs, to name a few.

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    Institut de Monde Arabe

    by arv1 Written Jul 1, 2007
    Facade of Institut de Monde Arabe
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    Most people do not visit the 'Institute of the Arabic World' (loosely translated) when they are in Paris, because it is rarely featured as a 'must-see' in guide books. However, I think its a fantastic place to visit, especially given that a lot of Parisian people have arabic origins, therefore in my opinion, this building is important to Paris. Located near the River Seine in the Latin Quarter, the surroundings are rather spectacular, and there is a lot to do.

    As you can see from my pictures, the facade of the building is pretty interesting. Each square represents a camera lens, and the 'lens' is meant to focus (ie open or close) depending on the amount of direct sunlight on each square. That is why each square is different from the others.

    The Institut is home to a library, two gift shops, usually houses exhibitions, a cafe, and a spectacular restaurant on the terrace. I personnally found the restaurant to be a bit too expensive to dine in (more than 50 euros per person) but the mint tea and baklava is an absolute delight (at a less pricey 13 euros for everything). Entrane into the terrace is free, and even if you decide not to eat anything, the view from the terrace is unique and spectacular! I say unique because you do not see the Eiffel Tower, but many other 'tourist' destinations which are albeit less famous but equally beautiful!

    Visiting the Institut is a must! Especially as it is located near other tourist sights that may be of interest to you.

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    The Arab World Museum - Le Monde Arabe

    by Muarrij Updated Dec 7, 2006

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    Open since December 1987, the IMA museum aims to present Arab-Islamic civilisation from its origins to the present day.
    The museum began by first of all housing mostly objects from the French national museums (the Louvre, the Decorative Arts Museum, the Museum of Arts of Africa and Oceania) and a few pieces from private collections.
    The Arab World Institute is a place of culture that is the fruit of a partnership between France and twenty-two Arab countries : Algeria, Saoudi Arabia, Bahrain, Comores, Djibouti, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kowait, Lebanon, Libya, Marocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.
    I enjoyed the musuem and the special exhibitiions, furthermore the architecture of the building is superb. Look at my other tips for more information on this.

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    Institut du Monde Arabe

    by Pieter11 Written Sep 28, 2006

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    Institut du Monde Arabe
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    At the Southern bank of the Seine, east of the Latin Quarter, you will find the big building belonging to the Institut du Monde Arabe (institute of the Arab World). This institute was founded in 1974, to create an information source about 19 Arab countries and France. The building that now houses the institute was officially opened in 1987.

    The building is very modern. It is made of steel and glass, but still looks very arabic. The southern facade of the buidling is the most special of all. Here there are 240 identical panels that react on sunlight. The diafragma's that are included in the panels can open and close depending on the amount of sunlight. The brighter it gets, the further the diafragma's close. Every hour this is adapted again. The panels are bases on old arabic shapes; traditional wooden panels called "moucharabiens".

    Inside the buidling there is a museum about the Arab World, but there also are two cafe's, a restaurant and a cinema, a library and a language institute.

    Outside there is another building where you can have a drink and buy souvenirs.

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    L'Institut du Monde Arabe

    by polardabar Updated Mar 15, 2006

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    I was reading a book about architecture when I came across this buiding! Strangely shaped, strangely built, strangely named... So I went out there to check it out & in the end it was exactly what I thought it would be - another piece of art!

    The windows are completely mechanical & they open or close based on the amount of light necessary for the exhibited item! Pretty crazy! :)

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    A wall of apetures

    by cup0joe Written Dec 8, 2005

    The Institut du Monde Arabe is dedicated to Arab and Islamic civilisation from its origins to the present day. As you appoarch the building you'll see the south-facing wall with an Islamic pattern made up of apertures. These apetures control the sun's light into the interior of the building. It's like a giant Islamic screen. Go inside up to the top floor where you'll get, in my opinion, the best view of Paris.

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    Best View of Paris!

    by cup0joe Written Dec 8, 2005
    Mom and

    Even better than the view from the Eiffel Tower. From the roof there is a direct view of Notre Dam and both sides of the bank. On a good day you will catch those moody clouds in the background and the Parisian light.

    You can also eat on the large roof garden. There is an indoor restaurant if it's still to cold out.

    Restaurant Panoramique
    Institut du Monde Arabe
    1 Rue des Fosses Saint-Bernard
    75005 Paris

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    Changing of the diaphragm by the light

    by sachara Updated Mar 19, 2005

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    diaphragm in the Institut Du Monde Arabe

    When you visit the Institut du Monde Arabe it's interesting to have a close look at the metal screens of the south wall from the inside.

    If you are lucky and have enough patience, you can see the moving of the screens like a diaphragm, at the moment the outside light changes. Especially at days, when the sun disappears behind the clouds and comes back, you are sure to notice it.

    Don't forget to go upstairs to the cafetaria at the 9th floor. From here you have splendid views at the Seine and the Ile de la Cité with the Notre Dame.

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    Playing light indoors

    by sachara Updated Mar 19, 2005

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    Institut du Monde Arabe

    It is possible to visit the Institut du Monde Arabe. Look at the playing of the light through the metal screens. At one hand it looks really high-tech, but at the other hand it gives also the same play of light, I saw in Islamic buildings in Arab countries.

    Inside you can also find a studycentre, a library, a bookshop and a museum. The museum is at the 7th floor. The exhibitions in the museum show the Arab history of civilisation from the 9th century. At my first visit there was an interesting exhibition about Yemen.

    Opening hours: 1pm-6pm
    Closed at mondays.

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    Wall of diaphragms

    by sachara Updated Mar 19, 2005

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    south wall of the Institut du Monde Arabe
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    The most striking part of the Institut du Monde Arabe is its south wall. This wall has 1600 metal screens, which react at the sunlight like the diaphragms of a camera to regulate the amount of light.

    The building is designed by Jean Nouvel. The design of the metal screens is based on the wooden wire fences of the Islamic architecture. It's very inspiring to see how this traditional form of architecture is transfomed into a modern outfit.

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