The Louvre Abu Dhabi will host the Letters of Light exhibition in partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums. The exhibition will feature some of the oldest texts of the three monotheistic religions, including manuscripts of the Quran, Bible, and Torah. With more than 240 artworks on display, visitors will explore the historical context in which the holy books emerged, their scholarly and mystical practices, and their essential role in universal intellectual and artistic history. The exhibition will open on September 13, 2023, and will be curated by Laurent Héricher, Head of the Oriental Manuscripts Department, Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of the Islamic Arts department, Musée du Louvre.
Artworks on Display
The exhibition will feature important and beautiful manuscripts of the Quran, Bible, and Torah, as well as artefacts from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, and Louvre Abu Dhabi. These pieces include manuscripts, photographs, graphic arts, three-dimensional objects, textiles, and paintings from all over the world. One of the masterpieces from the exhibition is the Blue Quran folio, one of the most sumptuous ancient copies of the Quran to have survived to the present day. Consisting of seven volumes, the page was produced in Kairouan, Tunisia, in the 9th or 10th century.
Offering a contemporary perspective, the exhibition will also showcase a commissioned artwork by Muhannad Shono, The Unseen. The thread-based installation by the Saudi visual artist metaphorically connects the threads of the three religions through a contemplative experience.
Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “Letters of Light invites visitors to embark upon a journey of profound reflection, exploring the intricate interplay between creative ingenuity and spirituality.” Laurent Héricher said: “Presenting some of the oldest and most important books and manuscripts, extraordinary illuminated and marvellous calligraphy, this exhibition has been created to emphasise the universality of Quranic, biblical, and evangelical messages.” Dr. Souraya Noujaim said: “By highlighting episodes and figures that are shared by all three monotheistic religions, we hope to deepen visitors’ understanding of these Holy Books.”
The exhibition aims to highlight the shared origins of the three monotheistic religions and their profound roots. It offers a retrospective on the rich history of sacred texts and explores their forms, languages, and contents. The exhibition will provide an extraordinary moment to see some of the rarest artworks, monotheist sacred scriptures, and items displayed side-by-side.