Abu Dhabi: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is on course to open later this year and will feature at least 600 artworks from around the world representing different civilisations and periods in history, its organisers said on the final day of the Culture Summit in Abu Dhabi.
Announced back in 2007 after an agreement with France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the ambitious plans of the UAE in turning the country into a hub of culture in the region as well as globally. The construction of the museum has had to deal with delays and different opening dates, but it is now finally on course for its historical big opening this year.
“I have had many discussions [with people during the Culture Summit] and their question all the time was when is the Louvre Abu Dhabi going to open? [My answer is] we are opening this year,” said Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Rabate went on to say that the Louvre Abu Dhabi would also be different and innovative compared to how museums spread out their artworks based on which country or area they were made in.
“The artworks on all civilisations are going to presented not in [different] departments, [they will] not be separated by civilisation, but [will all be put] together in the same rooms, and sometimes in the same showcases,” he explained.
“Creating this museum was a good opportunity to rethink the narrative, to put objects from different artworks in the same room,” he added.
Rabate said that the Louvre Abu Dhabi would host 600 permanent artworks along with 300 other artworks that would be lent from its counterpart in France.
“We had the chance to build an incredible collection … which today has more than 600 artworks that will be shown alongside 300 artworks lent from the French museum.”
Hessa Al Daheri, deputy director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said the opening of the museum was a continuation of the legacy of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, for his enduring efforts in preserving culture.
“Cultural preservation has been a part of our late father Shaikh Zayed from the start. Back in the 1960s and 1970s when we were still forming this nation and building hospitals, infrastructure, and schools, culture and cultural preservation was an important agenda.
“The first museum in Al Ain was built in 1969, even before the formation of this nation … So in a way Louvre Abu Dhabi as a museum is a continuation of Shaikh Zayed’s plan and his legacy, and is one of the many cultural initiatives Abu Dhabi is having today,” she added.
Al Daheri also spoke on the museum’s intricate architecture and design, which she said would also add to the aura of the museum for its visitors.
“If you look at [Louvre Abu Dhabi] building it looks like a city coming out of the sea covered with this huge dome at the top which brings down a ray of light,” she said.
“What’s incredible about this dome is there are only four pillars holding it up and they are hidden within the building so when you walk under [the dome] you don’t see where the pillars are, you just have this big dome on top of you floating.
This dome [also] weighs almost the weight of the Eiffel Tower,” she added.