ARTISTS’ TRIBUTE TO NOTRE-DAME.
Les donateurs Claude et France Lemand, bouleversés par l’incendie qui a ravagé, le 15 avril dernier, l’emblématique cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, ont demandé à des artistes du monde arabe et des diasporas, touchés eux aussi par ce drame, d’apporter leur témoignage.
Témoignage de Claude Lemand
’ Like millions of other viewers around the world, I was struck by the tragedy of the fire that devastated Notre-Dame in Paris. It brought back to me painful memories of the war in Lebanon. Jack Lang witnessed the fire with his own eyes from the terrace overlooking Notre-Dame at the top of Jean Nouvel’s building. His interventions on Radio and TV encouraged me to transform my emotions and sadness into a positive and generous project, in the same vein as the donation we just did to the Museum of the Institut du Monde Arabe.
The morning after the fire, I summoned a small group of artists from the Arab world, whom I was very close to and who feature prominently in our donation. Those artists were also struck by this fire that ravaged a monument which has stood for almost a thousand years, a symbol of a European and universal civilisation. They know it well and they feel part of its legacy just as much as French and European artists. They produced personal artworks to convey their compassion, the dialogue of arts and universal values between the East and the West.
I hope that this exhibition of contemporary artworks will give a brighter, more positive, more universal and humanist image of the Arab World and its diasporas, different from the images of despotism, terror and obscurantism that bring death to these countries’ bodies and minds, and everywhere else in the world. ’
First Artists :
Najia Mehadji (France-Morocco, 1950)
Dia Al-Azzawi (Iraq, 1939-London)
Mohamed Lekleti (Morocco, 1965- France)
Boutros Al-Maari (Syria, 1968-Germany)