From sly foxes to ferocious bears and faithful puppies, animals are an important part of the stories every child grows up with. A new exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi's children's museum explores how different cultures have conceived of animals in folklore, art, and everyday life.
The top hit, by far, is an interactive display that projects shadows of children on to the wall, and turns them into animals: hey presto! A bouncing cacophony of children, given bunny ears and antlers, lion tails and big horse backsides.
Taking work from its permanent collection, the children's museum enlivens the pieces in welcoming ways, from puzzles to interactive storytelling and technologies. As in the main galleries, a key theme is how different cultures converge and diverge: a brass rooster from Nigeria shows how the bird was used to signal power in the 18th century kingdom of Benin, while a gemellion – a bowl used for washing hands during the Middle Ages in Europe – invokes power with a painted lion.
The children’s museum is pitched at ages six and above – though it must be said that the majority of children always seem under that threshold. A few displays for the under sixes wouldn’t go amiss.
The exhibition Animals: Between Real and Imaginary runs until July 2019. Louvre Abu Dhabi is free for those 12 years and under, general admission for adults is Dh60. Detailed ticket information on website.
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