Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi
With contributions from people as diverse as structural engineers and the President of the French Republic, Louvre Abu Dhabi - Birth of a Museum, a dedicated permanent exhibition at the Louvre Paris, has featured in a major documentary
for one of France's top television stations, France TV5.
In the programme, Khalid Abdul Khaliq Abdulla of TCA Abu Dhabi is quoted as saying, "The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the next step of the global strategy for cultural development. The name of the Louvre, is a brand synonymous with quality, it is a major museum institution." He went on to point out some of the items acquired so far for display at Louvre Abu Dhabi when it finally opens its doors in 2015, highlighting an Iranian bracelet more than 3000 years old. "It will sit next to thousands of years of old treasures. For the first time the Louvre Abu Dhabi unveils here in Paris part of its future collection with a clear ambition, to become a universal museum, the museum of the world's cultures." At the exhibit's inauguration earlier this year, the French President, Francois Hollande, said, "For France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum is an exceptional site, the most important cultural project we are undertaking overseas.
"The future museum will rely on the leasing of some French collections but also on its own acquisitions. Like this Mondrian, bought for more than 21 million euros. In the choice of masterpieces there are no budgetary limits and no forbidden subjects." Laurence des Cars, Exhibition Curator, spoke about the museum's design. "For a unique world museum there needed to be a special treasure case. It is designed by Jean Nouvel, the famous architect who imagined a 64,000 sq. m. building created out of scratch on a virgin landscape, a magnificent project worth 500 million euros .
In turn, architect Jean Nouvel said, "It is an interpretation of geography and history, geography in the sense of a micro climate under a big cupola that will create light. We need to abandon the idea that all buildings are always the same preconceived ideas.
The documentary explores the differences between the cities that share the same art dream. "More than 5,000 km away from Paris, Abu Dhabi is a city in perpetual construction over the past 40 years and it is here, at the entrance of the desert doors, that the future museum will be implanted at Saadiyat island, the island of happiness." An engineer with many years experience on-site said, "Concrete is almost completed, we have the metal structure of the dome in place soon the pickets will be lowered and water will flow into the whole area - it will look then like a floating capsule on the water. We have double shifts around the clock in order to deliver in December 2015." TCA's Khalid Abdul Khaliq Abdulla reiterated the cultural significance of the museum, saying, "The U.A.E. has always been at the crossroads of civilizations. This museum will pursue that same historical logic. It will be inspired by the Louvre in Paris but will reinventing it in a new way. Not to try and copy Paris but to associate itself with the reputation of the Louvre and French knowhow.
The Scientific Director of AgenceFrance-museums, Jean-Francois Charnier, said, "What is very important for the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the transmission of our competence to our Emirati partners, with Emiratis who will join the project and will be the colleagues of the French team at the opening in December, 2015." The programme went on to talk about Abu Dhabi's dreams of being "a cultural megalopolis" and to become a reference in terms of art and education. To that end, the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi has been offering a Masters' degree dedicated to the museum's crafts.
The documentary introduced Danah, 25, who is in her second year, and for her the creation of this new museum is an opportunity. "The Louvre Abu Dhabi and the cultural neighbourhood of Saadiyat are an avant-gardes project. Setting up a museum here will not only allow people to see masterpieces, the idea is to invite them to discover other cultures and learn about other peoples." Danah hopes to become one of the future curators of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Eric Fouache Vice Chancellor of PSUAD had the final word: "Opening a Masters' degree in the history of art considering the context and the partners here was quite obvious. If the Louvre participates in setting up a museum and the Sorbonne is present and can give diplomas - since we need people trained the French way, it would have been an total anomaly that the Sorbonne and the Louvre don't get together."