Museum of the sands: Louvre Abu Dhabi officially opens to the public

First museum to bear the Louvre name outside France presents around 600 pieces

Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi, is the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, and features around 600 pieces.

DesignMENA reports, "During a tour of the ‘museum city’ with Nouvel, the architect explained that the force of the sun acts as a projector that travels around the dome, while the sun rays penetrate the gaps in the architecture like lace."

The art museum comprises of 6,400 metres of gallery space, including  23 galleries that make up its permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibition space and the Children’s Museum. It also houses a 27-seat auditorium, restaurant, shop and cafe.

AFP reports that "Hundreds of Emiratis along with Asian, European and Arab expatriates, some dressed in shorts, others in flowing Arabic robes, roamed through the vast museum to see famous works from the Paris institution, and pieces from Middle Eastern civilisations alike."

French President Emmanuel Macron currently on a state visit to the United Arab Emirates, was one of the first visitors to the newly opened museum.


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LIVE | Allocution du Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, lors de l'inauguration du Louvre Abu Dhabi aux Émirats arabes unis.

Posted by Élysée – Présidence de la République française on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates' capital. The museum complex is made up of 55 white volumes. These volumes are distributed amid what appears to be a mini-city (or medina), surrounded by water and entirely covered by a geometric dome that spans 180 metres and is made up of 8,000 overlapping metal stars.

Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, loans works of art and organises temporary exhibitions - in return for one billion euros ($1.16 billion).

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