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In Commemoration
In Commemoration

With grateful attachment we remember our colleagues

1949 - 2019

Anne-Marie Lapillonne’s personality consisted of a unique combination of humanity, humour, curiosity and competence. Silent, always behind-the-scenes but present and ready to help – and always ready to joke, first of all about herself. Nobody understood the ethos and spirit of MWNF better than Anne-Marie. And nobody has done more than Anne-Marie to turn it into reality in the form of thousands of pages – pages compiled by authors from all around the Mediterranean, then copy-edited and sometimes also translated by Anne-Marie. Most of our ”Islamic art in the Mediterranean” travel books and the entire French edition of the ”Discover Islamic Art” Virtual Museum bear the signature of Anne-Marie Lapillonne, who signed part of her translations as ‘Margot Cortez’. Thanks to her knowledge of the Arab-Islamic world and her love for its culture and civilisation, she always understood how to faithfully convey the authors’ thoughts and interpretations, keeping in mind also the expectations of the audience. In Anne-Marie’s texts, the sense of North or South of the Mediterranean disappears and each individual author becomes part of a colourful puzzle that forms the history, art and culture of Islam – a shared heritage that we are all called to preserve and to perpetuate.

Anne-Marie's work was something unique and her legacy remains an example for all of us.
Lakhdar DRIAS
1952 - 2017

In his position as the director of Algeria's National Museum of Antiquities, Lakhdar Drias was the driving force behind Algeria's participation in "Discover Islamic Art". His humanity, intellectual generosity and enthusiasm made him an unwavering pillar of a fantastic collaboration, providing guidance on all levels for Algeria's contribution to the project. Lakhdar Drias was distinguished by his outstanding management skills and an unstinting support for his team and collaborators.

Click here for Lakhdar Drias' bibliography
1943 – 2016

Ambassador Fathy El Shazly is part of the history of MWNF and without his generous support much of our work would have been impossible. He was with us since the beginning, when his vote for MWNF in his position as Egypt's Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs determined our first contract with the European Commission in 1998. Since 2007 he supported MWNF as a member of our Honorary Committee. In 2010 it was he who made contact between MWNF and the League of Arab States, which culminated in December of the same year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. He encouraged the realisation of Sharing History as a MWNF contribution after the events of the Arab Spring and, most recently, encouraged us to persevere in bringing more Arab countries on board of MWNF through the new MWNF Galleries project.

Until the last moment, Ambassador Fathy El Shazly fought for his ideals of tolerance, openness and dialogue. He had the courage to speak when others kept silent and to stay up when others remained seated.

MWNF lost a pillar and a wonderful friend. Egypt lost one of its most brilliant diplomats.

In Ambassador Fathy El-Shazly's memory we will continue building MWNF as a place of hope through better understanding of art and history.
1972 – 2007

From 2004 until her untimely death in 2007, Ghada was the pillar of MWNF in Jordan and a central person of reference for all our colleagues in the Middle East. Her shining personality and amazing optimism, as well her availability and readiness to help wherever and whenever needed – despite her serious illness and related physical limitations – leave a void that can hardly be filled.
1948 – 2003

As the project coordinator on behalf of Mishkenot sha’anaim (Jerusalem), Anna was in charge of Israeli participation in the project Exhibition Trails Islamic Art in the Mediterranean until political developments in the region led to an interruption of this cooperation. Tragic circumstances brought about her early death in 2003.