The first of its kind museum in the Arab region, Abu Dhabi’s much-awaited ‘Louvre Abu Dhabi’ will open to the public this Saturday, with spectacular week-long celebrations. The museum is expected to offer a fresh perspective on the history of art in a globalized world.
Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, it is an iconic architectural masterpiece, located along the waterfront in Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s cultural district. Louvre Abu Dhabi was born due to the unique collaboration of Abu Dhabi and France.
The inaugural installation would include spacious collection galleries displaying more than 600 works of art, and the museum will begin an ongoing programme of special exhibitions in December.
The museum’s collection spans the history of humanity and will explore a universal narrative through artworks and artefacts from across the world. Visitors can view a chronological journey from prehistory to the present day, involving 12 chapters, including the birth of the first villages, cosmography, universal religions, the magnificence of the royal court and the modern world.
According to Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Culture Department, Abu Dhabi, and the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), Mohamed Al Mubarak, Louvre Abu Dhabi is UAE’s gift to the world, and it is now looking to welcome its first visitors.
Louvre Abu Dhabi sets a benchmark for the region by drawing next generation of talented museum professionals. By exhibiting works from diverse cultures in the same space, it shows the connectivity of various ideologies, aesthetics and artistic techniques. The museum also transports visitors through a history of humanity, which is reflected in its collection of exceptional treasures, said Manuel Rabate, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The museum’s growing collection, apart from artworks and artefacts, also include ancient archaeological finds, decorative arts, neoclassical sculptures, paintings by modern masters and contemporary installations.
At Louvre Abu Dhabi, encounters with artefacts of different cultures give rise to emotions and questions, making this universal museum the ideal place to begin on a global history of humanity, said Jean-Francois Charnier, Scientific Director, Agence France-Museums.
Ancient masterpieces from the collection include a Bactrian Princess created in Central Asia during the 3rd millennium BCE, a Grecian sphinx from the 6th century BCE and an Iranian gold bracelet in the shape of a lion. Works from universal religions include sacred texts, i.e., a leaf from the ‘Blue Quran’, a Gothic Bible, and a standing Bodhisattva from 2nd or 3rd century, and a white marble Head of Buddha from China.
The displays from the later periods include an ancient astrolabe, a red Chinese lacquer chest of drawers and Giovanni Bellinie’s ‘Madonna and Child’, representing emergence of religious art and iconography. Also, works like Bronze Oba head from the Benin Kingdom and ‘The Good Samaritan’ by Jacob Jordaens, reflect the magnificence of royal courts around the world.
A series of iconic paintings captures the growth of the modern world, including contemporary art collection and a monumental sculpture by renowned international artists, Ai Weiwei.
Louvre Abu Dhabi has access to expertise and training from 17 French partner institutions, and also benefits from the ability to borrow works of art from 13 leading French museums for 10 years, and also from special exhibitions organized by these institutions for 15 years.
At the opening, 300 works from French partner museums are on display, while additional works from regional and UAE institutions would be on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The Children’s Museum at Louvre Abu Dhabi will open up to public, while its first special exhibition will be any time soon.
10am to 8pm (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
10am to 10pm (Thursday an Friday).