Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday, visited Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat island. They were briefed on the final stages of preparations for the official opening on November 11.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed were accompanied by Alia Al Mansouri, a 15-year-old Emirati student who won the UAE Genes in Space competition, which was launched by the International Space Station in Florida, US.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, other Shaikhs and ministers, were also present.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed were received upon their arrival by Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (ADTCA), Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General of ADTCA, and other senior officials.
A first of its kind in the Middle East region, with a selection of works that are of a cultural and artistic significance spanning various historical periods and human civilisations, the Louvre Abu Dhabi embodies the spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue, while celebrating the region’s multicultural heritage.
To date, the museum has acquired more than 620 works of art, including important artworks on loan from 13 leading museums in France within the walls of the architectural masterpiece designed as a homage to the Arab city.
During the tour, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed were briefed on a number of art works, including an ancient statue of the Sphinx dating back to the 6th century BC, funerary practices of ancient Egypt illustrated by a set sarcophagi of Princess Henuttawy, the Bonifilius’ basin from Northern Italy dating between the late twelfth-early thirteenth century, 13 fragments of a frieze detailing Surah Al Hashr from the Quran, and the bust of Alexander the Great on loan from the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Their Highnesses were also acquainted with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first site-specific works, installed in the outdoor areas by renowned contemporary artists, including American artist Jenny Holzer, who created three engraved stone walls named ‘For Louvre Abu Dhabi’, 2017. These cite important historical texts from Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, the Mesopotamian bilingual (Akkadian/Sumerian) Creation Myth tablet, and the 1588 annotated edition of Michel de Montaigne’s Les Essais.
The artefacts on display span the entirety of human existence, from the end of the third millennium BCE to the Medieval Era, the Renaissance and the Neoclassical period, right through to the contemporary era, thus highlighting connectivity and universal themes.
Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic La Belle Ferronniére, which will leave Europe for the first time to become the first painting by the Renaissance polymath to be exhibited in the Middle East.
Also on Monday, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan convened a meeting at Al Bahr Palace in Abu Dhabi.
They discussed a number of national issues and ways to provide means of decent living standards to citizens and the Emirati society. The talks touched on issues related to economic development as well as educational, social and cultural spheres.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed underlined the importance of utilising all potential to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 and sustainable development in all walks of life.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, other Shaikhs and ministers, were also present.