In front of the Institu du Monde Arabe (IMA), opposite Notre-Dame, stands a huge Western Saharan tent made of goat and camel hair. This typical tent, raised for Moussem festivals, is the work of architect Tarik Oualalou and sets the tone for the exhibition Contemporary Morocco. The Moroccan season, which opened recently in Paris, will long be remembered for its diversity and for exhibits that challenge as much as they dazzle by raising highly topical questions about society, tolerance, equality, extremism, corruption and ecology. The Louvre exhibition, Medieval Morocco, triggers a more emotional response with its medieval religious items and manuscripts on loan from some of the country’s oldest mosques and madrasas. They remind us that Morocco was once the centre of an empire that stretched from Cordoba in Spain to Gao in present day Mali.
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