Dr Sami Angawi, who has been outspoken and critical about the overdevelopment of the holy city of Mecca, where he is from, will join a panel discussion on Saadiyat Island on Wednesday for the next edition in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series.
For Art for Palaces, Art for the Home: Decor from East to West, a panel will offer different academic opinions on the contrasts and the common attitudes between European and Islamic interior decor. The talk will be based around two acquired objects - a 17th-century set of wall panellings from a Parisian mansion and a fountain from a Syrian courtyard dating to the 12th century. These items will be displayed in the museum that will open next year.
Dr Angawi, who has dedicated his career to reviving the traditional architecture of the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia through the restoration of houses and heading new projects that continue the same lines of design, will be joined by Frédéric Dassas, the chief curator of the Decorative Arts Department of the Louvre in Paris and Olivier Gabet, deputy head of the curatorial department in charge of Decorative Arts, Agence France Muséums.
Hissa Al Dhaheri, the project manager for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, will be moderating the discussion. She says the event will spark an interesting debate. "We are focusing on the concept of decor and architecture and how these elements encapsulate what life was like in the different centuries. We will also be exploring the different cultural philosophies in the East and the West," she says. "From these talks we want people to understand what are we going to have in the Louvre Abu Dhabi but we also want to create debate about concepts and what we are trying to do - that is, understand history and humanity through art."
Art for Palaces, Art for the Home: Decor from East to West will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 6.45pm to 8pm tonight