Abu Dhabi - Reuters
Louvre Abu Dhabi opens in November with no limits on art

More than 600 artworks from around the world will
go on display at the Louvre’s gallery in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 11, a project
that hopes to draw millions of visitors a year to the capital of the
United Arab Emirates.

The waterfront gallery
will display pieces from pre-history to the contemporary era. Besides
Middle Eastern artifacts and paintings, it will include works by artists
such as Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, and Cy Twombly.

French
officials said on Wednesday no restrictions had been placed on art in
the collection, which will include nude figures, Islamic and Christian
art and representations of deities from Asia.

“We
had a carte blanche for the acquisitions in all domains,” said
Jean-Francois Charnier, scientific director of Agence France-Museums.
“You have nude statues in the museum, contemporary paintings. You also
have religious images from all religions.”

The
works will be displayed to show major stages in human development and
will emphasize the links between different cultures, he said.

“We will show, with a Chinese work and an Islamic
one, the links, the consistencies, the similarities ... the objective is
to show that in history there are more links and bridges than walls.”

Major
pieces include an Egyptian funeral set from the 10th century BC, a 15th
century depiction of Madonna and child by Giovanni Bellini and a 1878
Turkish painting titled “A Young Emir Studying” by Osama Hamdy Bey.

They
will be housed in a series of white buildings topped by a cross-hatched
steel dome designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to let in shafts of
light.

“At a time when some forces are
attacking history by destroying works, taking our heritage hostage, this
is an essential act,” French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said.
“It is civilization responding to barbarity.”

UAE officials did
not disclose the cost of the project, first announced 10 years ago and
originally scheduled to open in 2012. The state-owned Tourism
Development and Investment Company, the developer of the project, was
scheduled to hand over the museum to Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture
Authority in mid-2016. The handover was delayed by pending construction
work.


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