The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the new Louvre museum which the UAE and French government officials say will attract millions of visitors in the nation’s Capital, is finally set to open to the public on November 11, on the shores of Saadiyat Island.
he landmark museum, with its iconic heritage, took ten years to come to life and will enlighten minds through exhibits of art, culture, history and knowledge.
Currently in its final phase, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will mark a departure from traditional museography, which often classifies displays according to origin.
More than 600 artworks will span the entirety of human existence, from the end of the third millennium BCE to the Medieval Era, the Renaissance and the Neoclassical period, right through to the contemporary era, thus highlighting connectivity and universal themes.
During the opening announcement ceremony, held on Wednesday at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said millions of people from around the world are expected to visit the museum. “Just as the Louvre is the crown jewel of Paris – the Louvre Abu Dhabi is destined for such distinction in the UAE and in this part of the world.”
Sheikh Nahyan pointed out that the agreement to open the Louvre Abu Dhabi, initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces more than ten years ago, is a scientific and economic partnership between the UAE and France.
He said that Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning French architect who designed the museum, wanted the Abu Dhabi museum to mirror the Arab world. “Surely, he has succeeded. The magnificent building itself is a work of art, creation and innovation which will invite the global population.”
Just as the UAE represents a diversity of cultures, religions, nationalities and most importantly, the unification of people from all walks of life, so too will the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Nahyan recalled Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s quote on how the UAE has become a global cultural hub; thus, the museum will serve as a cradle for art and culture: “The UAE serves as a role model for coexistence among different cultures represented by the millions who live and work here.”
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), told Khaleej Times that the museum will inspire more Emiratis to enter the art world. “More than 60 per cent of the employees are Emiratis and this number will grow.”
World culture and heritage are fundamental elements of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, he noted. “This is extremely important in our time and every single visitor will feel a connection to this museum.
“We hope it will enhance every youthful mind that enters this museum, and tolerance and acceptance in every person, making us better human beings.”
Françoise Nyssen, the French Minister of Culture, said the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is certainly a milestone in bilateral relations between the two countries. “This museum is one of the most ambitious cultural projects in the world.”
She pointed out that loans of art from the top 13 French museums and institutions steered by the Agence France-Muséums, have been put into creating what may become the world’s new art hub.
“The Louvre Abu Dhabi carries a message of tolerance and peace, stressing the unwavering commitment of our two countries in promoting culture and education as a shield against extremism.”
Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, highlighted that the museum will go down in history. “With a unique global narrative and a vision to explore the history of art in a fresh context, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a place where visitors can come to understand their own and others’ cultures.