French President Emmanuel Macron joins UAE leaders to inaugurate the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. The new museum in the UAE capital is hosting the officials on Wednesday evening. Follow the events as the unfolded
Mohammad welcomes the world to Louvre Abu Dhabi
"Hello from UAE and Abu Dhabi, our capital of culture, art and creativity. We welcome the world to Louvre Abu Dhabi," Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid said in his speech after the inauguration.
"The Louvre Abu Dhabi is our cultural pride – it will bring together the East and West and represents our ability to fight darkness with light; fight ignorance and intellectual extremism with artistic beauty.
"The key message of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is that our strength as human beings lies in the convergence of minds and the meeting of people and the alliance of civilisations," he said.
“In my name and on behalf of the people of the UAE and in the name of virtue and peace, I thank my brother [Shaikh] Mohammad Bin Zayed [Al Nahyan], who stood behind this project to advance the world culturally.
“I thank the French Republic represented by its President Emmanuel Macron in supporting this cultural project to see the light.”
“This museum represents the most beautiful of the East and the West, and will be a forum for lovers of art, beauty and culture from all over the world,” he said.
Louvre Abu Dhabi inaugurated
Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
The inauguration was attended by King Mohammad VI of Morocco, Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, and a number of representatives from brotherly and friendly countries.
.@HHShkMohd, @MohamedBinZayed & @EmmanuelMacron officially inaugurate the #LouvreAbuDhabi. The inauguration was attended by King of Morocco, King of Bahrain & President of Afghanistan.— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
Here's the official live video feed:
Macron, leaders tour galleries
French President Emmanuel Macron is examining the galleries of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
With architect Jean Nouvel at his side, Macron entered the first gallery of the museum. Nouvel pointed out the skylight, which mirrors the Louvre Pyramid.
The floor beneath them bore the outline of the UAE, with different world cities named on it in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and English.
They then looked at a two-headed Neolithic statue from Jordan, one of the oldest known in human history.
Jean-Luc Martinez, the president-director of the Louvre in Paris, offered Macron a brief description of the statue.
Macron is in Abu Dhabi to inaugurate the museum Wednesday night.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, first of its kind
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, features around 600 pieces in a modern, light-filled structure in harmony with its desert-island setting.
.@HHShkMohd & @MohamedBinZayed receive French President @EmmanuelMacron ahead of the official inauguration of the #LouvreAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/GqwTqtWuPx— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
Leaders receive French president
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, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council receive French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the official inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
.@HHShkMohd & @MohamedBinZayed receive French President @EmmanuelMacron ahead of the official inauguration of the @LouvreAbuDhabi . #LouvreAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/OLPOXYqvbv— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
French President arrives for inauguration
French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at the Louvre Abu Dhabi for its inauguration.
Macron and his wife, Brigitte, walked up to the museum with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nayhan and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
An Emirati honor guard greeted them.
Arrivals for opening ceremony @LouvreAbuDhabi - with beautiful music and a perfect night's breeze pic.twitter.com/6EtmtMnUaf— Mina Al-Oraibi (@AlOraibi) November 8, 2017
The museum marks a major cultural achievement for the UAE after a decade-long wait.
The iconic architectural masterpiece #LouvreAbuDhabi is the first museum of its kind in the Arab region. pic.twitter.com/7jFMjHmPhl— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
The opening comes a decade after France and the UAE agreed to a 30-year partnership initially reported to be worth $1.1 billion, reports France24.
East meets West at the #LouvreAbuDhabi .. New icon of tolerance and cultural understanding. #UAE pic.twitter.com/n8PEzNIc1N— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
Louvre Abu Dhabi is a significant collaboration between France and the UAE, where the two countries already hold strong ties across various sectors, Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musee du Louvre, said.
Artwork at the new Louvre offers a brief history of the world and its major religions.Museum officials say it also serves as a cultural bridge between the East and West. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum sits under a honeycombed dome of eight layers of Arab-style geometric shapes.
The museum opens to the public on Saturday.
Follow our live social media coverage of the official opening of the #LouvreAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/wqDIWlKTzO— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 8, 2017
5 pieces of art you should see at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
As the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public on Saturday, here are five pieces of art out of the 620 on display you should look out for that show the breadth of the new museum:
"Monumental Statue with Two Heads"
This plaster statue, dating to around 6,500 B.C. and discovered in Ain Ghazal, Jordan, is one of the oldest known in human history. It's among the earliest large-scale representations of human form. The settlement in which it was found, spread across 30 acres (12 hectares) along the Zarqa River, was one of the largest known Neolithic settlements in the Near East.
"Page of the 'Blue Quran'"
The page, from one of the oldest-ever-found Qurans, sits in a darkened room near a Gothic Bible, Buddhist sutras and a Torah from Yemen. It's part of the museum's theme of showing what's universal among peoples of the world. The Blue Quran dates from around 900 and was discovered in North Africa.
"Portrait of a Woman, called La Belle Ferronniere"
This is one of some 15 pieces of art known to exist today from the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. Dating to around 1495, the painting is thought to be of Lucrezia Crivelli, a mistress of the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza. The clothes the woman is wearing, her position and the smoothness of the painting all reflect the style of the Renaissance.
"The Saint-Lazare Station"
This Claude Monet painting from 1877 came during the Industrial Revolution. Monet, known as the father of Impressionism, often painted railway stations, modern life and urban landscapes during this period. His signature brushstrokes and the effects of color can be seen in it.
"Fountain of Light"
The Louvre Abu Dhabi commissioned this chandelier-inspired installation from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The 7-meter (23-foot) piece of art is made of stainless steel and glass. It's inspired by the Tatlin Tower, a utopian project that was meant to be built in Russia in 1919 but never was.