lundi 20 octobre 2014

Medieval Morocco now on at the Louvre

Saturday morning I was up early in order to head to the Louvre to see the Maroc Médiéval exhibit that had just opened the previous day.  Normally I don't like to see a "big" show near opening day as it usually means tons o' people, but I just couldn't wait to see this show.  I love Morocco and was willing to endure the other people stampeding to the Louvre to see this much-awaited collection. 

Paris is experiencing a freaky heat wave right now.  It's like a greenhouse under that pyramid!

What a surprise!  Hardly any people lined up at the entrance for this exhibit.  Am I the only Moroccophile in the City of Light? 

 Oh well, more room for me to soak up all the wonderful treasures that I can't show you because the guards refused to let me take photos.  That's stupid.  I'm not using a flash for heaven's sake!  I'm not going to damage your Coran/ancient dinar/13th century bowl fragment.

I managed to sneak in ONE shot before they caught me.
 This is just a mere suggestion of how lovely the installation was.  The rooms are dark rich purple with hints of latticework and Moorish arches.  Oh, it was all so beautiful and I can't even show you a speck of it.

Here are two things I learned from this exhibit:  1)  The Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) was named by the Arab conquerors who came here in the 7th century.  It was originally called "Maghreb al-Aqsa" which means The most Western Point on Earth.  (Or maybe it is the Westernmost point on Earth.  I can't even read my own notes!)  2)  What I thought was called a "Minibar" is actually called a Minbar.  It's that step rampy thing the Iman preaches from in the mosque.  There were several minbars on display and I kept reading "Minibar" on the little sign.  I thought "How clever!  Even in 980 they had places to put  all those little bottles of Schweppes and tiny bags of nuts!"

Afterwards I really wanted some tajine.  I had to settle for some dates for my snack.  Really, there should be some kind of Exhibit-Museum Cafeteria clause that states the whatever they are showing in the museum, they have to serve a representative menu related to the show in the museum cafeteria.  Couscous for all!

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