Louvre Abu Dhabi set to open this week

06 de novembro de 2017

Under construction for over a decade, the Arab version of the world-famous museum will open its doors on Wednesday.

Abu Dhabi - Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its doors to authorities and guests on Wednesday after ten years under construction. It will open to the public on Saturday (11).

In March 2007, the Louvre Museum in Paris announced that it’d launch an Arab branch as part of a 30-year deal between the UAE and the government of France. Neither government reveal how much the deal was worth.

France’s president Emmanuel Macron has confirmed his attendance> This will be his first visit to the UAE since his inauguration last May.

Over the next 10 years, France’s 13 biggest museums will lend artwork to the UAE for as long as 2 years each.

The Arab museum has already secured a loan for roughly 300 pieces, including an 1887 self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronnière.”

The emirate of Abu Dhabi has also spent several years building a collection of its own. The new museum will feature over 250 items from this collection, including Edouard Manet’s “The Gypsy” and works by Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian and Turkish realism artist Osman Hamdi Bey.

Some 5% of the collection consists of modern and contemporary art, including one piece by China’s Ai Weiwei. Louvre Abu Dhabi is set on Saadiyat Island, off the Abu Dhabi coast, and it emphasizes world history and religions.

On display will be a 6th century Quran, a gothic Bible and a Yemeni Tora facing one another and open on verses that convey the same message.

The museum was designed by the award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel and spans 24,000 sqm. His design takes its cue from the Arab medinas, featuring a metal dome with perforated arabesque patterns that appear to float above the white galleries, creating what Nouvel describes as a “rain of light.”

Before reaching the floor, each ray of light goes through eight perforated layers, creating patterns reminiscent of palm tree shades or the roof of a traditional Arab market.

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*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum