7 Things To Know About The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Arts

November 8, 2017 | BY Erica Fong

A collaboration between Abu Dhabi and France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public this weekend. Here's what you need to know about the groundbreaking new museum in the Middle East:

Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi
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It opens on November 11

Located on the waterfront of Abu Dhabi's cultural district on Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens on November 11 and will be the first museum of its kind in the Arab region. It is in good company with the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum also located in the Saadiyat Cultural District.

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7 Things To Know About The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi
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It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel

A mix of traditional Arabic and contemporary design, award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi as a museum city (medina) with promenades overlooking the sea. Using energy-efficient engineering, 7,850 metal stars in a geometric pattern have been set in the iconic dome structure, which creates a moving 'rain of light' when the sun shines through. 

Egyptian funeral set of Princess Henuttawy (Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi)
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The museum will open with 600 works of art

The museum will open with a total of 600 artworks and artefacts from ancient masterpieces to contemporary artworks, of which 300 works will be on loan from 13 French partner museums. Displayed in the museum's gallery space of 6,400 square metres, some of the highlights include the Egyptian funeral set of Princess Henuttawy, sacred texts such as a Leaf from the “Blue Quran”, Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child, and Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of a Lady.

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7 Things To Know About The Louvre Abu Dhabi
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority with Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of the French Republic (2007-2012) during a visit of the Louvre Abu Dhabis construction site (Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi)
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It has partnered with leading French museums

Louvre Abu Dhabi was the result of an intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France in 2007. As such, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will have access to 17 French partner institutions for expertise and training, and be able to borrow artwork from 13 leading French museums for 10 years and from the museums' special exhibitions for 15.

The Louvre Paris (Photo: Courtesy of The Louvre Paris)
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The inaugural exhibition will open in December

Curated by Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director, musée du Louvre, and Juliette Trey, Curator, Prints and Drawings Department, musée du Louvre, the inaugural exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi will open on December 21, 2017 with approximately 150 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and other pieces. 

Titled From One Louvre to Another: Opening a Museum for Everyone, visitors will be taken through the history of musée du Louvre in Paris in the 18th century, including the royal collections at Versailles under King Louis XIV, the residency of the Academy and Salons in the Louvre, and the eventual creation of the musée du Louvre.

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7 Things To Know About The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Oriental Bliss, Berne, Switzerland, 1938, oil paint and tempura glued to burlap by Paul Klee (Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi)
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There's a children's museum

For those aged 6-12 and their families, the Children's Museum at Louvre Abu Dhabi will open with an exhibition called Travelling Shapes and Colours. Using 16th-century Turkish ceramics, 18th-century decorative French vases and a 19th-century painting by German artist Paul Klee, little culture vultures will be able to explore different shapes and colours while experiencing a rich programme of educational workshops.

See also: Best International Schools In Hong Kong 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi at sunset (Photo: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi)
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The week-long celebrations kick off this Saturday

A week of celebrations have been planned for the Louvre Abu Dhabi's grand opening on November 11, which include multicultural arts, music and dance performances. Highlights include performances by French singer and rock guitarist Matthieu Chedid, Lebanese jazz and world musician Ibrahim Maalouf and singer and dancer Totó La Momposina.

For tickets and more information on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, visit louvreabudhabi.ae or follow @LouvreAbuDhabi on Instagram.