Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced it will open to the public on 11 November 2017.
The universal museum, located on Saadiyat Island will exhibit art and artefacts from ancient times to the present day and will celebrate cultural exchange and diversity.
Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum represents an Arab madina (city) with 23 permanent galleries, exhibition galleries, children’s museum, an auditorium, restaurants, retail and a research centre.
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), said: “Louvre Abu Dhabi forms one element of Abu Dhabi’s cultural strategy, which safeguards our rich heritage and catalyses creativity.
“Investment in a vibrant cultural ecosystem supports the UAE’s economic diversification and development as a modern, dynamic society. Louvre Abu Dhabi will inspire a new generation of cultural leaders and creative thinkers to contribute to our rapidly-changing and tolerant nation.”
The museum features a dome, which creates a ‘rain of light’ when sunlight filters through, which is reminiscent of the UAE’s overlapping palm trees in oases.
Artworks on display originate from civilisations all over the world and have been brought together to highlight universal themes and similar influences.
Themes at Louvre Abu Dhabi include: the portrayal of power; the representation of the divine; exploring unknown lands; and the dawn of globalisation.
Louvre Abu Dhabi has acquired more than 600 artworks to date including individual works, series and collections. Many of these will be exhibited alongside 300 works on loan from 13 French institutions.
Louvre Abu Dhabi was born of an intergovernmental agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France in 2007.
The agreement includes the loan of the name of Louvre for 30 years and 6 months; art works from French institutions for 10 years on a decreasing basis as the permanent collection grows; and the programming of temporary exhibitions for 15 years.
The inaugural special exhibition, ‘From One Louvre to Another: opening a museum for everyone’, opens on 21 December 2017, and traces the history of Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Divided into three sections, the exhibition will look at the royal collections at Versailles under King Louis XIV, followed by the residency of the Academy and Salons in this palace for artists, and conclude with the creation of the modern Musée du Louvre.
It will feature approximately 145 significant paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and other pieces from the collections of Musée du Louvre and Château de Versailles.
The exhibition is curated by Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director, Musée du Louvre, and Juliette Trey, curator, Prints and Drawings Department, Musée du Louvre.
Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “With a unique global narrative and a vision to explore the history of art in a fresh context, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a place where visitors can come to understand their own and others’ cultures.
“Its ground-breaking architecture complements a presentation of exceptional treasures that represent a snapshot of humanity’s creativity, and paves the way for new discussions.”