KUALA LUMPUR: An exhibition on the Malay world will be held in France in to reveal to the community the lives and culture of the Malays in Southeast Asia.
This came following a two-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Guimet Museum (Musée National des Arts asiatiques-Guimet), Paris and Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) here today.
The ceremony was witnessed by French President François Hollande after a 30-minute tour of the Islamic Arts Museum here.
IAMM curatorial affairs department head Dr Heba Nayel Barakat said the MoU would pave the way to future collaboration in organising exhibitions and sharing of knowledge between both nations.
“It was an honour to have him (Hollande) here at the IAMM.
“The MoU would develop more cooperation between both Guimet and IAMM. We want to have an exhibition about the Malay world to highlight the art and crafts of every region (in Southeast Asia).
“For example, we want to highlight the songket and how it is made in specific workshops historically.
“It will be an opportunity (for the French) to see more of the culture (of the Malay world),” she told reporters after the event.
Hollande visited the architecture, India, China, Malay, and the Quran and manuscript galleries at the IAMM.
This is the second state visit by a French President to Malaysia.
President Jacques Chirac paid a state visit to Malaysia in July 2003, one that was hailed as an important milestone for Malaysia-France bilateral relations.
The Guimet Museum was the brain-child of Emile Guimet (1836-1918), an industrialist who devised the grand project of opening a museum devoted to the religions of ancient Egypt, classical antiquity, and Asia.
As for IAMM, it houses more than ten thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. The art objects on display ranges from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.