Opening Talk: A Museum’s Story of Collecting

France boasts a long history of collecting and researching Asian art. Located in the heart of Paris, Musée Guimet, or Musée national des arts asiatiques, holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of Asian arts. Sophie Makariou, Director of the Musée Guimet, will take us through the museum’s history, its founder and important collections in an evening lecture and opening cocktail. The event, which is the first of the Museum’s Lecture Series, is co-hosted by Asia Week Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University Museum Society, and the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong.

Sophie Makariou studied philosophy and history of art in France, specialising in the Islamic world, and particularly the interaction between the Islamic and Chinese world of art. In her 12 years at the Louvre, she created the Department of Islamic Art and was appointed its director. In 2013, she became the Musée Guimet’s Director. She was awarded the Chevalier of Arts and Letters and of the Ordre national du Mérite for her contribution to the arts.


General Heritage Curator, she began her career at the Musée du Louvre in the Département des Antiquités orientales (Department of Near Eastern Antiquities).

A graduate of the École du Louvre in Art History and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in History (M2), she also studied at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations) (classical Arabic).

In 2001 she was appointed by the President of the Musée du Louvre, Henri Loyrette, to prefigure an Islamic arts department. Director of the Département des arts de l’Islam, she orchestrated its creation up to its inauguration by the President of the French Republic in 2012.

A specialist in cultural interactions between civilisations, she has published numerous studies on the theme of exchanges, and was appointed President of the Musée national des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet in 2013.

She is Chevalier of Arts and Letters and of the Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit).

DATE & TIME: 24 MAY (WED) 6:30 pm

VENUE: University Museum and Art Gallery, 1/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, The University of Hong Kong, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam


By invitation only