USEUROPEAFRICAASIA 中文双语Français
World
Home / World / Middle East

Louvre Abu Dhabi to open this year

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-07 09:20

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - The Louvre Abu Dhabi will finally open its doors to the public in November, bringing to the Gulf artifacts and post-impressionist masterpieces in the first Louvre-branded museum outside of Paris.

Housing 600 works of art, including 300 loaned by 13 French museums for the inaugural year, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is described as the "first universal museum" in the Arab world.

"At a time when culture is under attack ... this is our joint response," French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said at a news conference on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi to announce the Nov 11 opening date.

The museum has been a decade in the making and is opening five years behind schedule.

Louvre Abu Dhabi to open this year

Among the works on loan to Abu Dhabi are Leonardo da Vinci's La Belle Ferronniere from the Louvre - which houses the world's largest collection of art - and Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait from the Musee d'Orsay.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel of France, the "museum city" is reminiscent of an Arab medina, enveloped by a part arabesque, part futuristic silvery dome that lets in the light in patterns mimicking leaves of the palm trees of the Gulf.

While the Louvre Abu Dhabi will not lack its Rodins and Gaugins, for some, the real heart of the museum is in its narration of ancient civilizations through artifacts acquired by the United Arab Emirates.

The planned opening comes a decade after France and the UAE agreed a 30-year partnership worth $1.1 billion under which many top French museums will loan art to Abu Dhabi.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to attend the inauguration of the museum, which had originally been scheduled to open in 2012.

The "complex, ambitious project", in the words of museum director Manuel Rabate, has faced delays in funding and construction.

The decision to grant Abu Dhabi the rights to the Louvre name sparked heated debate in France with critics accusing the Louvre of "selling its soul" and questioning the emirate's record on labor rights.

"Yes, it's exceptional. Yes, this is the first time a project like this launches in the Middle East. But that's what's unique to this project," Rabate said in response to the critiques.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of "a major cultural strategy" to promote the city as a patron of the arts.

About 5 percent of the overall museum will be dedicated to contemporary and modern art. The rest focuses on telling the story of world histories and religions.

Agence France-presse

(China Daily 09/07/2017 page11)

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
BACK TO THE TOP
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US