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The multi-year-long construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is coming to an end and the museum will be open to visitors beginning November 11. It was originally slated to open in 2012 — and then in 2016 — but the opening date was pushed back due to the global financial crisis that occurred shortly after construction began. The new space, in partnership with the famed Louvre Museum in Paris, will be a universal museum focusing on shared human experiences across civilizations and cultures.

The $650 million museum will feature art from ancient times to the present day with the mission to celebrate cultural exchange and diversity. It represents an Arab madina (city) with 23 permanent galleries, exhibition galleries, a children’s museum, auditorium, restaurants, retail and a research center. Acclaimed architect and Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel, designed the museum under a large silver dome made of nearly 8,000 unique metal stars, which will reflect the sunlight to create a “rain of light” beneath the dome.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

One of the most ambitious cultural projects in the world, the new museum has partnered with the Louvre in Paris to receive a loan of artwork and special exhibitions, as well as management and execution advice. The inaugural special exhibition, From One Louvre to Another: Opening a Museum for Everyone, opens in December and will trace the history of the Louvre in Paris.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, with Françoise Nyssen, France
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, with Françoise Nyssen, France’s Minister of Culture.

The Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said in a statement: “Louvre Abu Dhabi embodies our belief that nations thrive on diversity and acceptance, with a curatorial narrative that emphasizes how interconnected the world has always been. The museum represents the latest innovation in a long-standing tradition of cultural preservation nurtured by the founding leaders of the UAE.”

The museum will be filled with important works of art from 13 leading museums in France and artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Rodin and Alberto Giacometti will be featured in the various galleries. The Louvre Abu Dhabi can use the name for 30 years and six months, and artwork will be on loan for 10 years.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is on Saadiyat Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Admission for the museum will be equivalent to $16 for general admission and $8 for patrons aged between 13 and 22.

All photos courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

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