Abu Dhabi: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is continuing to operate as usual, even as its namesake in Paris remains shut amid coronavirus concerns in France.
The museum in the capital’s Saadiyat Island was closed on Monday as is always the case, but was open as usual on Tuesday.
“Louvre Abu Dhabi has been working closely with the UAE authorities, taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and prioritising the health and safety of our visitors,” the museum said in a statement to Gulf News.
UAE’s stringent Covid-19 measures
The UAE has adopted stringent measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, screening returning travellers at airports since early February and placing in quarantine any residents who have come into contact with people suspected to be infected. The country has so far reported 21 cases of Covid-19, and five of the patients have already recovered.
France, on the other hand, has seen two Covid-19 deaths, and reported 130 cases of the disease till date. On Sunday, queues formed outside the museum’s pyramidal entrance but doors remained shut.
Measures in France
A statement on the museum’s website said a meeting was reviewing “the public health situation linked to the Covid-19 prevention measures” announced by the French government on Saturday. These include a ban on large gatherings in confined spaces, and Louvre museum staff have reportedly expressed concerns as the facility sees more than 5,000 people a day visiting its confined halls to catch a glimpse of famous artworks like the Mona Lisa.
It is not clear if the world’s largest art museum will open on Monday, but a notice on the website specifies an email that visitors can contact to process ticket refunds.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2017, was built following an intergovernmental agreement between France and Abu Dhabi. The museum is overseen by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi emirate’s culture sector regulator, and the ‘Louvre’ name is licensed to it for 30 years and six months from the date of the 2007 agreement.
The museum is open six days a week, from 10AM to 8PM on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 10AM to 10PM on Thursday and Friday.