Louvre Abu Dhabi

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Architecture, General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions

© Phpeter/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Phpeter/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The museum was inaugurated on 8 November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The museum is part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government. The museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District.

It is approximately 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft) in size, with 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) of galleries, making it the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula. The final cost of the construction is expected to be about €600 million. In addition, US$525 million was paid by Abu Dhabi to be associated with the Louvre name, and an additional US$747 million will be paid in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice. Artworks from around the world are showcased at the museum, with particular focus placed upon bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art.

The establishment of this museum was approved by the French Parliament on 9 October 2007. The architect for the building is Jean Nouvel and the engineers are BuroHappold Engineering. Jean Nouvel also designed the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The museum is part of a US$27 billion tourist and cultural development for Saadiyat Island, a complex which is planned to include three other museums, including a Guggenheim Museum and the Zayed National Museum. According to the government-sponsored website UAE Interact: “The French Museums Agency will operate in collaboration with the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), which is behind the transformation of Saadiyat Island. It will be chaired by French financier and member of the country’s Académie des Beaux-Arts, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, publisher of the periodical Revue des Deux Mondes.” Bruno Maquart, the former Executive Director of Centre Georges Pompidou, will take the position of Executive Director.

By choosing the Louvre, the emirate of Abu Dhabi not only sealed a partnership with the world’s most visited and well-known museum, but selected one which, from its very inception, had a vocation to reach out to the world, to the essence of mankind, through the contemplation of works of art.
Jacques Chirac

Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District plans to house the largest single cluster of world-class cultural assets. In addition to the Louvre Abu Dhabi these are intended to include: Zayed National Museum, to be designed by United Kingdom-based architectural company Foster and Partners under the direction of Lord Norman Foster; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi contemporary arts museum – expected to be the world’s largest Guggenheim; a performing arts centre designed by Zaha Hadid; a maritime museum with concept design by Tadao Ando and a number of arts pavilions.

The museum is designed as a “seemingly floating dome structure”; its web-patterned dome allowing the sun to filter through. The overall effect is meant to represent “rays of sunlight passing through date palm fronds in an oasis.” The total area of the museum will be approximately 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft). The permanent collection will occupy 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft), and the temporary exhibitions will take place over 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft).

BuroHappold Engineering provided multidisciplinary engineering services across the project, including structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, energy and environmental consultancy, water engineering, facade engineering, lighting design, people movement consultancy, security services and inclusive design. Their structural engineers realised the “floating dome” from 7,850 aluminium stars of varying sizes, which tessellate over eight layers to create a perforated roof structure that allows sunlight through to the spaces below. A team of specialist geotechnical and water engineers designed a watertight basement and tidal pools within the galleries to give the illusion of a “museum in the sea” while protecting artwork, artefacts and visitors from the corrosive marine environment.

The Plaza © Slywire/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Phpeter/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0 Inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi © Nchavance/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi © Nchavance/cc-by-sa-4.0
Questions have been raised as to the nature of the artworks to be displayed at the museum. However, according to The National: “the type and nature of the exhibits planned for the Louvre Abu Dhabi have been affected to no extent by the fact the new museum would be in a Muslim country, said Mr. Loyrette.”

Subjects and themes have been freely discussed with our partners in Abu Dhabi and no request to avoid such subjects has been made. The exhibition policy will be set up regarding excellence and high-standard quality. As a new museum we hope the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be part of the international community.
– Henri Loyrette

It has been noted that the museum will showcase work from multiple French museums, including the Louvre, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay and Palace of Versailles. However, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Culture Minister, stated at the announcement that the Paris Louvre “would not sell any of its 35,000-piece collection currently on display”.

It will not be dedicated to occidental art but will show all kinds of artistic creations. It will set up a dialogue between west and east, between north and south. As such, art from the Middle East will be shown within the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
– Henri Loyrette

In 2012, the Louvre Abu Dhabi started collecting photography, making its first acquisitions in the field, including works by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, Roger Fenton and George Wilson Bridges. The museum also acquired a sculpture of a Bactrian princess dating from the third millennium BC, a pavement and fountain set from the early Ottoman period, as well as the paintings Breton Boys Wrestling (1888) by Paul Gauguin and The Subjugated Reader (1928) by René Magritte. Further details of the museum’s collection on opening were revealed in October 2014, with a number of important works to be loaned under the agreement with Agence France-Muséums and the Musée du Louvre, including Leonardo Da Vinci‘s La Belle Ferronniere and works by Henri Matisse, a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, Jacques-Louis David‘s and Claude Monet‘s Gare Saint-Lazare. @LouvreAbuDhabi tweeted 8 December 2017 that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is looking forward to displaying the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci. The work was acquired, at a record price for a painting, by the Department of Culture & Tourism of Abu Dhabi for the museum. No date was set for the display of this work but in September 2018, the unveiling was indefinitely postponed and a January 2019 news report indicated that “no one knows where it is, and there are grave concerns for its physical safety”.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi first started sharing its collection with the public through an exhibition entitled “Talking Art: Louvre Abu Dhabi,” which opened in May 2009. The exhibition presented the first 19 acquisitions for the institution, including a Mamluk holy Koran from the 14th century, a 5th-century Fibula from Domagnano, a Virgin and Child by Bellini, and Mondrian’s Composition with blue, red, yellow and black from 1922. A second exhibition, “Birth of a Museum”, opened at the exhibition space Manarat Al Saadiyat in May 2013, ending in August that year. The first large-scale preview of the collection, it featured 130 works acquired by the government of Abu Dhabi for the permanent collection. They included a never-before-seen work by Picasso, a Bronze Age terracotta statue from Cyprus, along with artifacts from Greece, Turkey, Japan and Syria. In May 2014, the Birth of a Museum exhibition, featuring works shown in Abu Dhabi and a number of new acquisitions opened at the Louvre in Paris. A number of new works were presented, including Chirisei Kyubiki by the Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga and painted in 1960.

Read more on Louvre Abu Dhabi and Wikipedia Louvre Abu Dhabi. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.



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