From 14 to 20 April 2023 - Museum - Institut du monde arabe

  • LEKLETI, Noyée dans la poussière de la lumière.

    Noyée dans la poussière de la lumière, 2019. Mixed media and collage on paper laid down on wood panel, 114 x 162 cm. Private Collection. © Mohamed Lekleti. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • MAARI, Notre-Dame.

    Notre-Dame, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, diameter 132 cm. © Boutros Al-Maari. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • AZZAWI, Notre-Dame de Paris.

    Notre-Dame de Paris, 2019. Acrylic on relief in wood, 60 x 39 x 7 cm. Double face. Private Collection. © Dia Al-Azzawi. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • MEHADJI, Notre-Dame.

    Notre-Dame, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 110 cm. Private Collection. © Najia Mehadji. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • KOCHI, Notre-Dame. The Phoenix.

    Notre-Dame. The Phoenix, 2019. Mixed media on strong Arches paper, 76 x 56 cm. Private Collection. © Manabu Kochi. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • Hani ZUROB, Our Mary - Maryamouna.

    Our Mary - Maryamouna, 2019. Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 100 cm. © Hani Zurob. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • Hussein TAÏ, Notre-Dame. She was there.

    Notre-Dame. She was there, 2019. Artist book including 18 paintings. Mixed media on paper, 40 x 30 cm. © Hussein Taï. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • Nasser AL-ASWADI, Notre-Dame.

    Notre-Dame, 2019. Huile et pigments sur toile, 190 x 135 cm. © Nasser Al-Aswadi. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • TAKRETI, Notre-Dame.

    Notre-Dame, 2019. Diptych. Acrylic on canvas, 130 x 194 cm. Private Collection. © Khaled Takreti. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.


The donors Claude and France Lemand, dev­as­tated by the fire which rav­aged the emblem­atic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, asked artists from the Arab world and the dias­poras, also affected by this tragedy, to give their tes­ti­mony.

Preface by Jack Lang, President of the Institut du monde arabe

Notre Dame - pos­ses­sive adjec­tive rarely have been as mean­ingful - is a bit our Paris, our his­tory. And it is here that the gen­erous ini­tia­tive of Claude and France Lemand takes all its meaning: the artists who answered their call and wished to par­tic­i­pate in the con­sti­tu­tion of a col­lec­tion-tribute to the cathe­dral of Paris shared our sorrow. For them all, coming from the four corners of the Arab world, this fire is that of a symbol of the French her­itage, European, uni­versal, which they have dreamed many times before giving life to their dreams by coming to France, of pas­sage or forever.

Testimony by 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.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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