New Yves Saint Laurent museum opens in Marrakech

2017-10-20 15:46
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Marrakech, Morocco  — The Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech, the sunny Moroccan city beloved by the late designer, opened its doors to the public on Thursday.

It comes less than three weeks after a museum dedicated to the fashion pioneer was inaugurated in his home city of Paris.

The Marrakech museum, designed by the French architectural firm Studio KO, sprawls across an area of 4,000 square meters (4,783 square yards) and is located near the Majorelle Garden, which Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge bought in 1980.

It features a permanent exhibition featuring the work of the prolific French couturier, who died in 2008. It includes an exhibit hall, an auditorium, a library, a bookshop and a restaurant.

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The museum was inaugurated Oct. 14 by the wife of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Lalla Salma, alongside actresses Catherine Deneuve and Marisa Berenson.

"This project finds its genesis in the temporary exhibition organized in the Majorelle Garden, which was called 'Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco'," explained Museum Director Bjorn Dahlstrom.

"(That) exhibition was so enthusiastically welcomed that Bergé decided to create here, in Marrakech, a museum dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent," he added.

At the entrance to the museum, visitors bought their tickets in the shade of the red facade made of Tetuan brick and granite.

According to Dahlstrom, the materials "fit perfectly in the urban environment of Marrakech" and that Berge wanted "something that is contemporary and Moroccan."

Bergé, who died earlier this year and was also Saint Laurent's business partner, "often came to the construction site to see the progress of the works," said Sanaa El Younsi, a member of the museum team. The idea of the museum was born three years ago, with construction beginning a year later.

"What a pity he's not here to attend the opening," said El Younsi.

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