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UAE and France open road for cultural interaction

Both countries enjoy distinct bilateral ties in culture and education, French Minister says

Image Credit: AFP
Jean-Michel Blanquer | French minister of national education
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and France enjoy advanced strategic relations in the fields of culture and education, and this is demonstrated by President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, a top French official has said.

“The distinct bilateral ties, close co-ordination in foreign policy and identical stances of the two friendly countries towards a wide range of international issues have facilitated the launch of joint activity, and the emergence of an iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French minister of national education

“We are proud to spread the human culture and civilisation through the Louvre. We are delighted with the birth of [the museum], and our friends in the UAE are happy to have this cultural landmark in Abu Dhabi. I think it will serve our mutual interests and aspirations to make our people happy, and open up the road for [future] cultural interaction. Those who live in Abu Dhabi and around will be fortunate to see the richest masterpieces in the world,” he added.

According to state news media WAM, Macron is on a two-day visit to the capital to inaugurate the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The museum, which is the product of a 2007 intergovernmental agreement between the UAE and France, is located in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. Under this agreement, the Louvre Museum in Paris will loan its name for 30 years and six months for a sum of $525 million (Dh1.92 million). France will also loan temporary exhibits for 15 years, and artworks from 13 leading French institutions for a decade.

In turn, the Louvre Museum in Paris inaugurated the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre last year (2016), which details the rich history of the Louvre and also helps interpret collections at the facility to millions of visitors. The centre was named as a tribute to the UAE’s founding father.