With just seven weeks to go before the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s public opening, a delegation from the UAE assembled at the Louvre Museum in Paris to deliver the news as well the museum’s messages of tolerance and dialogue directly to the project’s French stakeholders and members of the French press.
Speaking in the auditorium that sits beneath the Louvre Museum’s glass pyramid, the chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, delivered a personal message to the 400-strong audience that included members of the project team, some of whom have been working for 10 years to deliver the new museum.
“I want to talk to you about why we are all here,” he said, speaking as part of a panel that included the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s director, Manuel Rabaté, its designer, Jean Nouvel, the president-director of the Louvre Museum, Jean-Luc Martinez, the scientific director of Agence France-Muséums, Jean François Charnier, and the organisation’s chairman, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
“When I first became involved in this project, I was told by a wise man that everything we do today is for a meaningful tomorrow. That was told to me by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. We are here to change the future and we believe that culture is an imperative fact in that change,” he explained.
“We believe culture makes better people, and we believe culture makes a better world.”
Mr Rabaté explained the new museum’s unique curatorial approach, which relies on loans from 13 French cultural institutions - including the Louvre Museum, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou – but uses these to paint a very different picture of human creativity from the one that museum visitors in France and elsewhere have come to expect.
“With a unique global narrative and a vision to explore the history of art in a fresh context, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a place where visitors can come to understand their own and others’ cultures,” the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s director told the audience, which included representatives of the French institutions that will be loaning works to the museum.