The palace of Darius I in Susa, Sully wing, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities © 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier
The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund within the Louvre Endowment Fund has received an exceptional donation of $2.3 million from American Friends of the Louvre thanks to the generosity of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute.
In 2011, Dr Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali and her son Pierre Omidyar became the first philanthropists to support the Louvre Endowment Fund through Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. They created a specific fund to advance research in art history and promote cultural outreach linked to the Persian world. Thanks to this partnership, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute has also created the first Louvre fellowship programme.
This new donation will allow for the creation of a second Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali fellowship for the Louvre: the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Department of Islamic Art will therefore each benefit from a new fellow. The donation also brings greater funding for cultural outreach and research relating to the Persian world within the Musée du Louvre.
‘The Board of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is proud and delighted to establish our second endowment through the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund at the Louvre within the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Department Islamic Art. I am personally honoured for the opportunity to advance the knowledge and appreciation of Persian culture and heritage through this first-ever ‘educational programme and fellowship endowment’ at the Louvre. I look forward to its lasting impact on the next generation of scholars, curators and artists at the museum and beyond.’ said Dr Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali .
As a token of its gratitude, the Musée du Louvre will name a room of the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities after Dr Mir-Djalali for a period of 20 years. Room 307 – dedicated to Susa, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire – will therefore become the Salle Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali.
Since the creation of the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund within the Louvre Endowment Fund in 2011, when an initial grant of $3 million was made, the Louvre has received more than €548,000 from 2011 to 2021.
The Louvre endowment fund
In late 2009, the Louvre became the first French museum to create an endowment fund based on models from the English-speaking world. Funded by donations and bequests from patrons and income from the museum’s partnership with Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Endowment Fund makes long-term investments with the revenue entrusted to it, giving donors the opportunity to make a lasting contribution and become part of the Louvre’s history for generations to come. In the United States, the museum relies on American Friends of the Louvre (AFL) to find patrons. With a capital of €270 million, the Louvre Endowment Fund is currently the largest financial structure in Europe for promoting culture, bringing between €6 and €11 million to the museum each year.
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute
Dr Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali has dedicated the better part of her career to the preservation, study and transmission of Iranian culture. She has taught in prestigious universities in the United States and France.
In 2000, she founded Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, which is now the world’s leading institution for education and research in the art and culture of the Iranian world. Under the direction of Dr Mir-Djalali, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute has supported many study and research programmes in the United States, Europe and around the world.
The creation of the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund at the Louvre benefited from the support of Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and president emeritus of the Board of Directors of eBay Inc., and member of the Board of Directors of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute.
American Friends of the Louvre
Founded in 2002, American Friends of the Louvre (AFL) aims to strengthen ties between the Louvre and the American public and helps expand the museum’s reach in the United States. Through its support, AFL raises awareness of the Louvre’s collections and museum expertise and helps make the museum’s exhibitions and permanent collections more accessible in the US and around the world. To date, more than $39 million has been committed to benefit the Louvre’s eight curatorial departments as well as educational projects, the auditorium and the Louvre Endowment Fund.
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