paris

View of “Michal Rovner,” 2011. From left: Makom IV, 2011; Makom II, 2011.

Michal Rovner

Musée du Louvre

View of “Michal Rovner,” 2011. From left: Makom IV, 2011; Makom II, 2011.

In a corner of the Cour Napoléon, the Louvre’s central courtyard, Michal Rovner and a team of Israeli and Palestinian masons added two temporary monuments to the celebrated axe historique of Paris. Makom II and Makom IV, both 2011—the word means place in Hebrew—were aptly framed by the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a Neoclassical homage to Napoleon’s military conquests, and I. M. Pei’s Pyramid, a spectacular punctuation mark to postmodernism. In activating these composite spaces and layers of signification, Rovner delved into the conundrum of how to find common ground between Israelis and Palestinians, while pointing to the museum’s role in mediating between politics and cultural patrimony.

Made of stones gathered in abandoned or destroyed Palestinian villages on the Israel-Syria border in the case of Makom IV, and from around Jerusalem, Hebron, Haifa, Bethlehem, and the

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