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On my visit to the Art Institute, hidden at the end of the Islamic gallery, I faced this beautiful Moroccan door.

I have always been fascinated by doors and in particular because it is amazing how a single object can carry so many meanings.

A door is overall a transition point, a permeable passage through an impermeable boundary, whether from the Latin origin of “porta” which came from the fact they held a plow to define the limits of the new cities whenever they were founded to the old English origin of “dor” defined as a gate from the Indo-European roots.

A door, therefore, defines two sides, you are inside or outside, and you belong or not. A door also creates privacy and secures a place, a home, and a city, but at the same time when opened into a wall, it creates a link, opens up a flow, and offers an opportunity.

Doors tell us a lot about their owners, they speak about how tall they were, their techniques, their social position, what they used the door for, people, animals, or vehicles, and doors inside doors.

Doors can serve as guidance with their different colours or become an icon, they can be used as the canvas to tell us figurative stories or even be conceived as art pieces.

Now you know why it took me so long to hoover around in the museum.


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