Institute of the Arab World opens new branch in France

Ahram Online, Sunday 25 Nov 2012

New branch of Paris-based institute promoting Arab culture and understanding between East and West opens in northern French town of Tourcoing

A new branch of the Institute of the Arab World opened last week in Tourcoing near Lille, northern France. It is the first branch of the institution that has its headquarters in Paris.

The new centre is housed in an 800 square metre venue and includes spaces for exhibitions, meetings and Arabic language classes.

According to Michel François Delanno, mayor of Tourcoing, the historical city has a significant Arab population and takes a strong interest in the region.

An opening exhibition titled Qantara (bridge) focuses on exchanges between nations from both sides of the Mediterranean.

Since its opening in 1987, the Institute of the Arab World in Paris has served as a dynamic institution aiming to contribute to the knowledge of Arab cultures. Over 25 Arab countries are associated with the institute and contribute to its activities through musical concerts, exhibitions, symposiums and Arabic language courses.

Opening the institute's new branch is one of several actions taken by France in recent months to help build bridges between French and Arab/Islamic cultures.

On 22 September, a new Islamic Arts wing was opened at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The collection includes over 3000 art works from the Islamic World.

The Louvre is planing an affiliate branch in Abu Dhabi. Construction will begin in 2013.

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