Louvre Abu Dhabi Collection Debuts in Paris

French President Francois Hollande and Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, visit the exhibition "Birth of a Museum" at the Louvre in Paris (2014). The Louvre Abu Dhabi is due to open in 2015. Photo: EPA/Alain Jocard, courtesy Pool Maxppp Out.


The highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi won’t open its doors until December 2015, but the best of its new collection has just been unveiled in the Louvre in Paris, reports Art Daily. The exhibition, “Birth of a Museum,” includes more than one hundred and sixty pieces acquired by the new institution since 2009.

When it opens, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first universal museum in the Middle East, with a global collection of both old and contemporary works selected with the help of teams from Abu Dhabi and Agence France-Museums. The United Arab Emirates and France have been working towards the impending opening since 2007.

The current exhibit, held in the Louvre’s Hall Napoleon, offers an early glimpse of a number of impressive pieces: antiquities such as the Bactrian “Princess” statue, a 3,000 year old Iranian gold lion bracelet, a Greek sphinx, a Pakistani Bodhisattva, and a garnet-encrusted gold brooch from fifth century Italy, and paintings by Bellini, Manet, Gauguin, Magritte, Mondrian, and Cy Twombly. Abu Dhabi previously hosted a similar exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat last summer.

Although the future museum takes its name from the French Louvre and will be loaned artwork from French collections, it will stand apart from its European counterpart. As an original institution with an independent collection collection, the Louve Abu Dhabi will draw on the culture and traditions of Middle East.

The museum, which is currently under construction, has been designed by Jean Nouvel, with a series of buildings extending over the water in a “museum city” covered by a large dome.

“Birth of a Museum” will be on view at the Louvre, Paris, through July 28.

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