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The Louvre in Paris to Establish Coptic Art Department

The new president of the Louvre in Paris announced her plans to create a department for Coptic and Byzantine works, which would highlight the culture of the Byzantine Empire.

The Louvre in Paris has over 10,000 Coptic objects in its possession. You wouldn't know it if you went there, though. Since 2014, only about 700 Coptic works have been on display. The Louvre previously refused to collect these thousands of Coptic pieces - along with approximately 1,000 Byzantine artworks - in their own department, with a statement claiming that such an overhaul was "not an emergency." But with the newly-appointed president of the Louvre, Laurence des Cars (who, incidentally, is the first female president of the Louvre in the 228 years that it existed), that may soon change.


Des Cars announced her plans to create a department for Coptic and Byzantine works, which would highlight the culture of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire stretched from Turkey to Egypt, with many of its relics reflecting its religious status as an early Christian empire after the Roman Emperor Constantine I broke away from the crumbling Western Roman Empire, moved the capital to Constantinople in modern-day Turkey, and legalised Christianity.


The new department is hoped to exemplify this often-overlooked segment of regional history, with a special focus on how Christian art developed in Egypt specifically.