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Known as "The Veil," the new Islam Wing of Paris' Louvre will be the largest exhibition space for Islamic art in Europe. The new galleries will function as a renovation to an existing Louvre courtyard, capped off with the undulating glass canopy. The project's architect, Mario Bellini, call it a "giant glass Muslim headscarf in the heart of Paris." To former French President Jacques Chirac, who laid the first new museums' first stone today, the design is a gesture towards mitigating cultural tension in France. With the outrage caused by a simple contemporary art museum in the Presidio, it might be hard for San Franciscans to imagine a museum that eases conflict instead of creating it. The new 3,000 sq meter wing is due to open in 2010.
· Louvre draws a veil over artistic neglect with bold new Islamic wing [Guardian UK]