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Monday, March 27, 2023

See the Louvre in Abu Dhabi up close

See the Louvre in Abu Dhabi up close

One cannot help but wonder about the Louvre in Abu Dhabi when you know that €400 million was paid to the French government in an agreement signed in 2007, mainly to use the name for 30 years.

Last year, a 10-year extension was obtained at an additional cost of 165 million euros, which means that, for now, we can be sure that Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi will be home to the Louvre until 2047, as 25 billion euros in tourists and a cultural development plan for this natural island.

That’s when the two other museums we saw under construction — the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum — will stand alongside the Louvre. This setup reminds me of the Museum Island in Berlin and how it somehow leads the trend of multiple museums close to each other.

The largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula with 24,000 square meters of space and 8,000 square meters of gallery space. My first impression when I saw the entrance to the Louvre was confusion as the name was etched on the wall – white on white – so simple that I thought it couldn’t be after all the fanfare main channel. But it is. Why should I question the genius of the French architect Jean Nouvel?

The famous netted dome lets in the sunlight; representing the overall effect of sunlight passing through the date palm leaves in the oasis. The design of the dome, with 7,850 aluminum stars of various sizes embedded in it, may look very simple to the untrained eye, but in the photo you can imagine the expected effect.

The museum averages around 15,000 visitors a day and we were told it was surprisingly “slow” day so we got lucky. Our guide gave us just over two hours to explore the entire area, and I found myself spending most of the time in the makeshift galleries.

Allow me to share photos of some of my favorite pieces; I’m excited for this museum’s promising future. Who knows, one day I might come back and see Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvador Mundi” on display?


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