Abu Dhabi: It’s a work of art in the works. Some 20 months from now, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its doors, capping an ambitious project that will create a landmark on Saadiyat Island, place the capital firmly at the centre of the art world — and see a modern architectural and technical wonder rise overlooking the city’s skyline.
By the fourth quarter of next year, residents and visitors will have a chance to walk in the floating Louvre Museum, the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said on Monday.
A year after intense planning, engineering and mobilisation on the ground, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has moved from a construction dit seven metres deep to first gallery above ground. It’s a major milestone in the project’s history.
But officials aren’t saying how much the project is costing.
When asked about the estimated budget spent on the construction, Jasem Al Hammadi, director of infrastructure at TDIC, said: “We can’t confirm the amount of money spent on constructing the Louvre museum, as it needs additional requirements every day especially when work for construction is under way.”
When completed, the Louvre will be home to an unrivalled collection. Officials are already buying for the displays. The pieces, artworks and sculptures, which will be displayed in the museum’s permanent and temporary galleries, are from all the different civilisations and the region, enabling visitors to discover shared influences and connections between different cultures around the globe.
“Around 300 pieces of artworks have been acquired so far,” Hessa Al Daheri, project manager of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said. “The collection will constantly grow.”
The majority of the concrete work for the museum’s basement levels has been poured, including a highly secure seven-metre-deep basement through which authorised vehicles will transport all the artwork for the museum.
“More than 10 million working hours have been dedicated to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, reflecting the amount of foundation work that the museum requires,” Ali Al Hammadi, deputy managing director at TDIC, said. “Despite the challenging and complicated design, construction of the ground has been progressing steadily and on schedule.”