210 000 M²
Visitors per year
The Louvre Palace, on the right bank of the Seine in the center of Paris, is a former royal palace which has occupied the site since the 12th century and which has housed the celebrated Musée du Louvre since 1789.
The Musée du Louvre is one of the largest museums, and the most visited in the world. Since its creation, it has housed many departments on various topics (Paintings, Egyptian - Greek - Etruscan - Roman Antiquities - Near Eastern Antiquities, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Prints & Drawings) and some of the most famous masterpieces such as The Venus de Milo, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (la Joconde) or the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
Each year, near 10 million people come to Paris to visit the museum and walk among the 35 000 objects exhibited in the numerous galleries.
glass facets of the roof
20 years on from the Louvre’s great pyramid project, the creation of the new Department of islamic Art within the Musée du Louvre represents a milestone in the history of the museum and former palace. Created in 2003, its refurbishment has been underway since 2008.
The new galleries opened to the public on September 22, 2012.
Some 3 000 art pieces are on display, spanning, 1 300 years of history.
The new department invites visitors on a veritable sensory voyage of discovery into its great islamic collection: the biggest of the world. A hub of intercultural exchange, it reveals the radiant face of a civilization that encompassed an infinitely varied wealth of humanity.
The display of the department’s new exhibition spaces provides an overview
of artistic creation from the dawn of Islam in the 7th century to the early 19th
century, encompassing architectural elements, stone and ivory objects, metalwork, glasswork, ceramics, textiles and carpets, manuscripts and so on.
integrates digital devices in situ
number of programs
time of video
1h 41 min
hours of work
For the first time, the Musée du Louvre integrates multimedia devices into its visitor trails. UZIK was chosen to produce 20 short multimedia programs that allow the visitor to better understand the context, get more information about several art pieces exposed in the gallery, and experience some new ways to discover the wealth of a various culture.
Since each topic or art piece can’t be approached with the same way, the Musée du Louvre decided to talk about the department through several kinds of programs: interviews, video slide shows, animated videos, maps, audio poems or interactive programs installed along the visitor trails onto screens, touchscreens or audio devices.
Each day, more than 10 000 visitors go through the new islamic art gallery. In order to catch their attention and encourage them to take the time for a trial on the different multimedia devices, UZIK produced for each video program an eye-catching screensaver which shows a few contents of the program.
Dark but with beautiful pictures, our screensavers show the visitors a very short
summary of the content of the program and make him quickly understand
that he will be able to get some consistent information about the near art pieces. Eye-catchy but not blinding, UZIK chose to use darkness as often as possible in order to avoid visitors being more interested in the touch screen than to the art piece itself. This enables too the museum to save power and spare the equipment: video screens are indeed all day long on.
Visitors can also understand how to use the touch screen thanks to an illustrated hand showing them they can click on a “début”, “start” or “inicio” button which starts the video in the corresponding language.
But who were the kings in question?
A visit near Jerusalem in the place named “Qobour el Moulouk” (The tombs of the kings) which shows the outdoor, the porch and the inside of the tombs. A 3D modeling which transcribes all the knowledge of archeologists and historians about the place.
With a few plans, photos and testimonies, UZIK built a 3D reconstitution of the
tombs in order to explain the visitor, where and how the sarcophagus were
preserved before its discovery.
In order to present a reconstitution as close to reality as possible, UZIK worked during around 8 months with several historians and archeologists who did visit and study this place near Jerusalem.
Even so, UZIK must imagine a certain part of the 3D reconstitution because of a lack of knowledge from historians.
Forgotten in the storehouse of the museum, several drawings of the mosaics were discovered and restored. The Musée du Louvre chose to exhibit them at the Islamic department and UZIK had to produce a short video program which presents the context: the building where could be found the mosaic and the main steps of its construction and evolution: from a temple to a mosque.
The main purpose of the program is to explain the context of the art pieces the visitor can see near the touchscreen: two great reconstitutions of the mosaic of the mosque.
UZIK wanted to show more by reconstituting several items concerning the great mosque of Damascus: the full mosaic, and an historical reconstitution of the different steps of the building itself.
size of the art piece
age of the mosaic
> 10 centuries
9 000 h
The biggest art piece the Islamic Art Gallery could bring.
The mosaic of Qabr Hiram is a 120m² art piece which covered the floor of a church placed in Qabr Hiram (the castle of Hiram). For this mosaic, UZIK produced a first program to explain the pattern of the mosaic.
Since the art piece is too big to allow people to look close to details, we decided to
propose them an interactive program which shows a focus on the mosaic. The
visitor can browse easily by sliding his finger on the screen and he gets some
additional information thanks to colored captions.
He can also understand the placement of each part of the mosaic and compare closely with similar details in other churches.
Thanks to collaboration with an archeologist and a few drawings of other similar buildings, UZIK could produce a reconstitution of the Church which towered above the mosaic.
Some details on the mosaic allowed the Louvre and UZIK to guess where could be placed some columns, windows, stairs or barriers. With this reconstitution, UZIK was able to produce a second program which presents the context and establishes some comparisons with other similar buildings and churches patterns.
used to create the art pieces of the gallery
Allowing to look at all those art pieces was not enough for the museum.
The Musée du Louvre chose to explain to visitors how most of the art pieces presented in the gallery were made through animated movies.
UZIK produced 5 animated movies showing the work of a glassmaker, ceramics,
how to shape metal or to craft a book. The videos explains how the art pieces
placed just near were made, with a graphic style convenient for adults or children.
As for the other programs UZIK had to show the techniques of the artisans with
the most accuracy as possible. To do the job, many archives were available
and UZIK could exchange views with as many specialists as
We really wanted to create some sharp and living scenes.
As a consequence, we chose to mix between traditional animation (rotoscoping) and digital technics (after effects).
3,4 x 2 m
As an original way to replace the visitor into the right context and summarize him more than a thousand years of history in less than 4 minutes, The department has chosen to display 4 animated maps along the visit itinerary.
UZIK produced the 4 short videos that enable the maps to be animated. The visitor
can understand the historical context thanks to a 3,4m x 2m animated planisphere
on which are displayed exodus, wars or colonizations…
As a classic map, a unique color corresponds to each. The originality comes from the way peoples movements are transcribed: color areas move, expand or contract to easily explain visitors the different events of Islamic History.
To let people experiment this new kind of map, UZIK and the Musée du Louvre
worked on the conception of the device: a 40” screen placed behind a 3,4m x 2m
4 layers were finally necessary to fully render the experience: the screen on which are played the videos, a layer of opaque black stickers to enhance the control of the light generated by the video screen, the slab of glass, and at last the silkscreen which shows the continents, rivers and deserts.
number of poems
time of reading
number of speakers
The gallery not only appeals to the sight of the visitor, but also to his hearing. Three areas along the trail allow the visitor to listen to a poem, read in Arabic, Persian or Turkish.
In collaboration with the most eminent Louvre’s linguistic specialists,
UZIK chose 3 speakers able to read poems in Arabic, Persian or Turkish the way
they would have been read at this time.
Adorable Studio, specialized in sound design and original scores produced
In order to immerse the visitor the most into this experience, the poems are played
through several very discreet glass steles which allow them to hear
the voice reading the poem. Except the glass stele, the visitor can’t
see any equipment which emphasizes the mysterious side of the device:
like an ancestral ghost voice trying to transmit the culture from the past.