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Louvre Abu Dhabi museum to open doors on 11th November

07 September 2017

Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum of its kind in the Arab world, will open doors to the public on 11th November 2017. It is a universal museum that focuses on shared human stories across various civilisations and cultures.

The opening celebrations include a range of public programmes, including performances, concerts, symposia, dance, and visual arts by renowned contemporary and classical artists.

The museum city, also called ‘Arab Medina’, has been designed by the Pritzker Prize winning French architect, Jean Nouvel, under a vast silvery dome. Visitors can take a stroll along the promenades emphasizing the sea beneath museum’s 180m dome, comprising 8000 unique metal stars, arranged in complex geometric pattern. When sunlight filters through, it creates ‘rain of light’ beneath the dome, which resembles overlapping of palm trees in the UAE oases.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The museum's important collection of artworks, artefacts and loans from France’s top museums would be displayed. These span the whole of human existence from prehistorical objects to contemporary artworks, highlighting universal themes and ideas. Apart from galleries, the museum will include children’s museum, exhibitions, restaurant, boutique and cafe.

The story of Louvre Abu Dhabi will begin in the ‘Great Vestibule’, wherein visitors would be introduced to important themes like maternity and funerary rituals. The galleries will be both chronological and thematic, and would be subdivided into 12 chapters. The displays would include works from early empires to funerary practises of ancient Egypt, and creation of new economies with a Decadrachm coin of Syracuse signed by the artist Euainetos.

A gallery would be dedicated to universal religions, featuring sacred texts – a leaf from ‘Blue Quran’, a Gothic Bible, a Pentateuch, and texts from Buddhism and Taoism.  The artistic exchanges on the trading routes during the Medieval and Modern periods are brought to the fore through an important number of ceramic works.

Between Asia and Mediterranean, and between Europe and America, guests will appreciate the world’s horizon, gradually expanded. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first site-specific works, installed in outdoor areas by renowned contemporary artists, interact with spirit of museum and fabric of architecture. 

The French Minister of Culture, Francoise Nyssen, speaking on Louvre Abu Dhabi said that its opening would be a milestone in the development of ties between the UAE and France, ten years following the signing of intergovernmental agreement. The project is one of the most ambitious cultural projects in the world, and this has been brought to light by the exceptional architectural masterpiece. 

With the expertise of its cultural institutions and loans from national collections, France plays a major role in completion of this projects for now and for decades to come, the French minister said.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is an innovative scientific and cultural project that combines expertise of 13 French museums and institutions led by Agence France-Museums, and it offers a unique experience to visitors, a brand new journey through major works of art from various civilisations, mirrored to reveal common humanity.  

The Louvre Abu Dhabi carries a message of peace and tolerance and emphasizes strong commitment of two countries to promote culture and education as a shield against extremism. 

The inaugural week will also feature two prestigious events,  co-produced under French-Emirati Cultural programme, that was initiated more than a year ago by two countries, supported by strong momentum generated by Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The architect of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Jean Novel, confirmed that Louvre Abu Dhabi would open in two months, following years of studies and construction. Guests can enter this place of light, and this will be a meeting place of various planetary cultures beyond the seas and centuries. 

Tickets for the museum will cost Dh.60 for general admission, Dh.30 for ages 13 to 22, and UAE professionals. Admission will be free for members of loyalty programme, children under 13, ICOM or ICOMOS members, journalists and people with determination, along with compassion.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries