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The splendours of Uzbekistan’s oases

23 November 2022 – 6 March 2023

Musée du Louvre – Aile Richelieu

This exhibition takes visitors on a fascinating journey to the crossroads of civilisations, in the heart of central Asia, in Uzbekistan, where Samarkand and Bokhara are household names. But many other trading posts in the region brought to light works of art that are now listed as objects of world heritage.

A large selection of these masterworks will leave Uzbekistan for the first time and undergo special conservation treatment for the exhibition, including monumental wall paintings from the Ambassadors’ Hall in Samarkand and its surroundings, the pages of one of the oldest monumental Korans from the early days of Islam from Katta Langar, in Sogdiana, and other treasures in gold from Bactria (Dalverzin Tepe), silver, silk, and fine ceramics. The exhibition also showcases several masterpieces from the famous 16th-century miniature paintings of the School of Bukhara.

Thanks to exceptional loans from Uzbekistan, and from major European museums, the exhibition encompasses nearly 130 works and invites visitors to embark on a journey through space and time. The riveting tale of 17 centuries sheds light on why this far-flung region near China and India fascinated Alexander the Great and the caliphs of Baghdad, beyond the Iranian world, further east. This hotspot of exchange and cultural flourishing provided a forum where Western and Eastern civilisations could dialogue and mingle harmoniously.