x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Louvre director Henri Loyrette to step down

Henri Loyrette has resigned as director from the Paris institution, which he has been since 2001

The director of the Louvre is to step down as the head of the world's biggest museum in April.

Henri Loyrette announced his resignation as director from the Paris institution, which he has held since 2001, on Monday.

Mr Loyrette's time at the museum has been marked by two major projects which were completed this year - a new wing dedicated to the Islamic arts and a satellite museum in the northern city of Lens.

However, he will now not be overseeing see the completion of the Abu Dhabi branch.

Work on the Jean Nouvel-designed Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum is due to begin early next year on Saadiyat Island.

A timetable released earlier this year said the Louvre would be the first of the island's three major museums to open, in 2015, followed by the Zayed National Museum in 2016 and the Guggenheim in 2017.

Construction has suffered significant delays. Work on the Louvre and Guggenheim began in 2009, and piling works on the Louvre and the Zayed National Museum were completed last year.

Mr Loyrette will also be remembered for introducing contemporary art to the collection, with purchases of works by artists including Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer and Francois Morellet.

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* With additional reporting from Agence France-Presse