The long-awaited opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi is finally here; the museum is on track to open this year, says the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA). The completion of the project that began in March 2007 has been delayed and the provisional opening date pushed back to later this year.
Though ongoing construction work of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum is still underway (10 years in the making), it’s today a step closer to completion. “Once completed, the museum will feature Permanent Galleries, a Temporary Gallery, a Children’s Museum and an auditorium, in addition to its rich array of artworks, which visitors can admire across 9,200 square meters of display space,” tells The National.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum will be on Saadiyat Island, a natural venue that’s set to become a cultural center and will be an exciting platform to showcase a fine collection of artworks coming from France’s grand museums, including the Louvre, that will loan art to Abu Dhabi as part of a 30-year collaboration with the emirate. This has been guided by Jean-Francois Charnier, the scientific director of Agence France-Museums (AFM) who has been working with TCA for a decade to make the Louvre Abu Dhabi a reality; The museum will stand thanks to the work of Jean Nouvel, a French architect, who was chosen for the designing of the Louvre and the British engineering firm of Buro Happold.
Louvre Abu Dhabi’s façade resembles a dome structure and has “eight layers of cladding consisting of 7,850 star-shaped pieces of aluminum and stainless steel of various sizes and angles” with “4,500 tube lights [that] have been attached to the structure causing the dome to sparkle at night,” describes The National. It notes, the museum, when it officially opens, will have “taken more than 30 million man hours and 424 days to complete” and feature “12 galleries for its permanent collection and loaned artwork from 13 leading French institutions.”
What Sara Hamdan, of The International New York Times, described as “the gleaming white, U.F.O.-like building” was originally due to open in 2012/2013, but the project came to a halt due to the financial crises. It was then scheduled to be finished in 2015/2016 but got held up due to a sequence of delays. Louvre Abu Dhabi (louvreabudhabi.ae/) will house precious artworks (paintings, prints, drawings, as well as sculptures, and private collections) and a number of masterpieces from different historical periods (many being displayed to the public for the first time). The array of works will depict the ever-changing contemporary art scene with special exhibitions that will embrace all cultures.