From 26 September 2017
Institut du Monde Arabe
Horaires : 10h-18h, du mardi au samedi
The Arab World Institute dedicates an exhibition to Oriental Christians to be visited from September 26, 2017 to January 14, 2018. For this compelling exhibition shedding light on 2000 years of Oriental Christians’ history. The museum brings together 300 masterpieces. We understand how Christianism appeared in the region and the stakes of political balance in the same region for the future of this people.
While today, the destructive crises affecting the Middle East threatens Christians, the Arab World Institute thought it was essential to put the story of Oriental Christians in the history of Arab World civilization.
Thus, this exhibition offers to travel through the religious, political, cultural and art history of these Christian communities, a journey across 2000 years. Thanks to the 300 wonderful pieces including models, parchments, mosaics, writings and paintings – some even considered as masterpieces of Christian heritage and never been presented in Europe before – we learn how the Oriental Christian sphere appeared.
The chronological itinerary returns to the emergence of Christianism in the pagan Roman Empire and its spreading in Orient during conquests that lead to the creation of several Churches including the Coptic, Assyro Chaldean, Syriac, Armenian and Maronite Churches. After Islam appeared, Christians already settled kept playing a key role in administration, intellectual and social life just as under the various caliphates as in the Ottoman Empire (1453-1923) and were considered as cultural purveyors.
Considered as dhimmis (protected persons), Oriental Christians lived in peace in the region until the 19th century where nationalism appears and raises awareness about belonging to the Arab World. Unfortunately, the violent independences of the countries of Maghreb and Orient have destructive effects on Oriental Christians who have to fight to preserve their tangible heritage and their place in the Arab world.
Furthermore, after an historical exploration, the exhibition gives the floor to today’s Oriental Christians for touching and very hopeful records.
Oriental Christians at the Arab World Institute
From September 26, 2017 to January 14, 2018
1 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris
Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday
Rates: €12, €10 reduced, €6 for people under 26 and unemployed persons
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