No Byzantine Department for the Louvre

Bust of Theodosius II, Byzantine Emperor (408-450), Louvre

The new director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, has decided to postpone the creation of a new department dedicated to Byzantine and Coptic civilizations, La Croix reports. The idea was championed by his predecessor, Henri Loyrette. His plan was to gather the collection—currently displayed in several different departments—in new galleries hosted in the space formerly dedicated to art from Islam.

The move would have allowed to display 11,000 objects, including 10,000 Coptic pieces and around 1,000 Byzantine pieces, more than twice as many as are currently on view. But Martinez has deemed the project “not urgent,” and announced he will focus instead on the refurbishment of the pyramid, due to start next July.

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