Difficult to miss as you cross the Seine from the Ile St-Louis, the Institut du Monde Arabe benefits both from its strategic location on the Quai St-Bernard and its sleek contemporary architecture. Founded in 1980, it moved into these custom-built premises in 1987, partly financed by the government and partly by 20 Arab states anxious to encourage cultural exchanges between Islam and the West. This aim is achieved through temporary exhibitions, a permanent museum collection, concerts, lectures, a library, and research facilities.