This Saturday 11 November, the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its doors to the public. The museum is the first of its kind in the entire Arabic region and marks a historic moment in modern art and culture.
A collaboration between Abu Dhabi and France, the museum is located on Saadiyat Island and has been designed by Jean Nouvel. More than 600 works of art are housed within the architectural masterpiece, half of which are visiting pieces from France. Pieces of special note include Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière, Auguste Rodin’s Jean d’Aire and Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps.
Containing 6,400 square meters of artwork, the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection covers human history from around the world with ancient archaeological artefacts, impressionist paintings, 18th-century sculptures and modern installation pieces. Key themes include cosmography, religion and the royal court.
President-Director of musée du Louvre and Chairman of the Scientific Board of Agence France-Muséums Jean-Luc Martinez says the Louvre Abu Dhabi is “a museum like no other, which could be considered as the most ambitious cultural project of the early 21st century.” He added that “It carries a message of openness, which is critical for our era… [It] will amaze the world and make its mark in the history of museums.”
Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manuel Rabaté, said the museum set a new standard for the area. “It has reinvented the 18th-century premise of the universal museum for a demanding contemporary audience. In a complex multi-narrative world, these ideas are more important than ever,” he claims. “By exhibiting works from diverse cultures in the same space, our curation shows the interconnectedness of different ideologies, aesthetics and artistic techniques. The museum story transports visitors through a history of humanity illuminated by our collection of exceptional treasures.”
Visitors to the Louvre Abu Dhabi can also enjoy the unique architecture of the building, which modernizes traditional Arabic design. A seaside pathway provides visitors with a close-up view of the unique star-studded dome, which contains nearly 8000 metal stars.
To celebrate the opening, there will be a week-long series of events including workshops, dances and musical performances.