Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a museum city under a vast silvery dome to bring the vision of Louvre Abu Dhabi to life. Visitors can walk through the promenades overlooking the sea beneath the museum’s dome, comprised of almost 8,000 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern. When sunlight filters through, it creates a moving ‘rain of light’ beneath the dome, reminiscent of the overlapping palm trees in the UAE’s oases.
On display will be the museum’s important collection of artworks, artefacts and loans from France’s top museums. These span the entirety of human existence: from prehistorical objects to commissioned contemporary artworks, highlighting universal themes and ideas and marking a departure from traditional museography that often separates according to origin. In addition to the galleries, the museum will include exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique and a café.
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), said, “Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the latest innovation in a long-standing tradition of cultural preservation nurtured by the founding leaders of the UAE. Louvre Abu Dhabi forms one element of Abu Dhabi’s cultural strategy, which safeguards our rich heritage and catalyses creativity. Investment in a vibrant cultural ecosystem supports the UAE’s economic diversification and development as a modern, dynamic society. Louvre Abu Dhabi will inspire a new generation of cultural leaders and creative thinkers to contribute to our rapidly-changing and tolerant nation.”
Endowed with an innovative scientific and cultural project combining the expertise of 13 French museums and institutions steered by the Agence France-Muséums, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will indeed offer visitors a unique experience: a brand-new journey through major works of art from different civilisations, mirrored to reveal our common humanity. The Louvre Abu Dhabi therefore carries a message of tolerance and peace and stresses the unwavering commitment of our two countries to promote culture and education as a shield against extremism.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, “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. Its ground-breaking architecture complements a presentation of exceptional treasures that represent a snapshot of humanity’s creativity, and paves the way for new discussions.”
In the galleries, important artworks on loan from 13 leading museums in France will be presented. Highlights include Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière; Vincent van Gogh’s self-portrait; a rare ivory saltcellar from the Benin Empire; a Globe by Vincenzo Coronelli of Bibliothèque nationale de France; a pair of gui vessels; Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps; Auguste Rodin’s Jean d’Aire from the group the Burghers of Calais; a 13th century reliquary chest.
The inaugural special exhibition, From One Louvre to Another: opening a museum for everyone, opens on December 21 this year, and traces the history of Musée du Louvre in Paris. Divided into three sections, the exhibition will look at the royal collections at Versailles under King Louis XIV, followed by the residency of the Academy and Salons in this palace for artists, and conclude with the creation of the modern Musée du Louvre. It will feature approximately 145 significant paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and other pieces from the collections of Musée du Louvre and Château de Versailles. The exhibition is curated by Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director, Musée du Louvre, and Juliette Trey, Curator, Prints and Drawings Department, Musée du Louvre.
Tickets for the museum will cost $16 for general admission and $8 for ages between 13 and 22, as well as UAE education professionals.
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