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Chivalry of East and West at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Whether they come from the Islamic or the Christian world, knights exert a certain form of fascination on us. It is no doubt for this reason that the Louvre Abu Dhabi has chosen to title its next exhibition Furusiyya: The Art of Knighthood between East and West.

The exhibition will open on February 19 and will include 130 objects from all over the Middle East, particularly from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, as well as from the French and Germanic states of Europe. Between medieval armor, and manuscripts detailing how war strategies were considered by the Ottomans, Egyptians, and Europeans, the Middle Ages will be in the spotlight.

Franco-Saudi cooperation

Organized in partnership with the Musée de Cluny, the Musée national du Moyen-Age in Paris and Agence France-Muséums, the exhibition is conceived as a study of the two cultures, curated by Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Carine Juvin, and Michel Huynh.

Differences and similarities

The tradition of Furusiyya, coming from the Islamic world, included horseback riding, swordplay, archery and the use of the spear. Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, the code of chivalry was based on the ideals of courage, faith, honor and the traditions of the court. Put this way, the two worlds may seem opposed, but they are not so different. A section of the exhibition highlights some of the similarities between them, such as falconry, jousting, or even … chess!