The Arab World Institute (IMA) is entering a new phase of transformation. On February 2, Jack Lang, president of the IMA and its director, Nathalie Bondil, presented an ambitious project which completely rethinks the Institution to make it a museum in its own right. The French Museum. This is the new name that the IMA will take from now on.
This new transformation project, labeled Le Musée de France, is part of an ambitious redevelopment program announced for the end of 2025-beginning of 2026.
Equipped with a permanent route that will highlight the “ first collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the West “, the Museum of France will include projects ranging from the building to the scenography through the works. So what is the trigger for this vast project?
According to Fine Arts, it is the donation. Indeed, according to the same source, and between 2018 and 2022, there was a donation of 1,677 works by the couple of Franco-Lebanese collectors Claude and France Lemand, which thus increased the initial collection by 340%, the bringing to 2,377 works, including masterpieces by Etel Adnan, Ramses Younane or Baya.
“Also enriched with loans from museums in the Arab world, the new route, which will combine chronological thread and thematic focus (Arab sciences, indigenous cultures, pioneers, photography, decolonization, etc.), will include a total of 3,400 works dating from 1985 to today. today. All in a scenography which “will reactivate the dialogue between shadow and light present in the original exhibition galleries” and will put Jean Nouvel’s building back into its environment, in particular by opening up the view of the Parisian landscape.“, explains Beaux Arts.
On the mediation side, the same source argues that the IMA wants to be “pmore educational, especially around questions of religion », with better consideration of the well-being and comfort of visitors. An area “ dedicated to health “and a restaurant” fully metamorphosed” turned towards the “discovery of Arab cuisines will be offered.
Concerning ” timing » of this project, Beaux Arts explains that there is a context of tension linked to the question of the future presidency of the institution.
” Because at 83, Jack Lang, who is running for a fourth term (and recalls being behind the creation of the IMA, whose construction he had proposed to President François Mitterrand in 1981), comes up against a competitor that some sources announce as favorite to his succession: Jean-Yves Le Drian, former Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs. Enough to make this plan a sizeable plea for the renewal of the one who describes himself as continuous movement “says Fine Arts.