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In an age when Arab culture is all over the headlines, this is a good place to come to find out what the phrase actually means. The building, designed by architect Jean Nouvel in 1987, is worth the price of admission,. The south facade, which has a metallic latticework echoing traditional Arab designs, includes 30,000 light-sensitive diaphragms that regulate the penetration of light by opening and closing according to how bright it is outside. After a major overhaul, this museum, which used to be devoted solely to Islamic art, has now expanded its mission to include the many facets of the Arab world, specifically the 22 countries that helped create this institution in 1987. The collection includes beautiful examples of traditional calligraphy, miniatures, ceramics, woodwork, and carpets, as well as scientific objects, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts.