x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Louvre Paris rejects Qatar claims of apology over map

Spokeswoman squashed reports in Qatar that the Parisian institution was investigating the incident

Louvre Paris has categorically denied Qatari claims it intervened to remove a map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Children’s Museum and dismissed suggestions it made an official apology to Doha over the incident. Etienne Laurent/ EPA
Louvre Paris has categorically denied Qatari claims it intervened to remove a map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Children’s Museum and dismissed suggestions it made an official apology to Doha over the incident. Etienne Laurent/ EPA

The Louvre Museum has denied Qatari claims it intervened to remove a map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Children’s Museum and dismissed suggestions it made an official apology to Doha over the incident.

The map in the Children's Museum was replaced last month after it emerged that it failed to show Qatar.

A spokeswoman for the French museum sought to quash reports in Qatar that the Parisian institution was investigating the incident. She said a meeting with the Qatari ambassador had been misrepresented.

“At the request of the Qatari Embassy in France, on Monday, 5th of February 2018, the Musée du Louvre received His Excellency Khalid Bin Rashid Al-Mansouri, Ambassador of Qatar, accompanied by Mr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri. The question of a map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi children's museum, on which Qatar did not appear was discussed,” she told The National.

The statement added that the incident was a simple technical incident.

“During this meeting, representatives of the Louvre reiterated the fact this was a simple technical incident, attributable to a subcontractor who worked in urgency, only a few days before the opening. It was an involuntary negligence and in no way intentional. The Louvre also reminded its Qatari interlocutors that this was the only map, among numerous others on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, on which Qatar did not appear,” she said.

“Working closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi teams, the map was changed immediately, 15 days ago, as soon as the incident was discovered. The Musée du Louvre formally denies having opened an investigation.” Louvre Abu Dhabi said a failure in the commissioning process was responsible for Qatar being omitted from a map displayed in the museum.”

The Head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee, Ali bin Dhameeh, is currently visiting Paris. He stated on the Committee’s verified twitter handle that ‘the administration of the Louvre museum has apologised and opened an official investigation’ into Louvre Abu Dhabi. His statements were widely distributed by Qatari media.

The map in the Children's Museum was replaced last month after it emerged that it failed to show Qatar. Louvre Abu Dhabi
The map in the Children's Museum was replaced last month after it emerged that it failed to show Qatar. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi said last week measures have been put in place to ensure the incident would not happen again. The map on display was a simplified schematic that was meant to represent the journey of an ancient vase, the museum said.

On many other maps at the museum, the geography of the Arabian Gulf is accurately illustrated. A picture of the original map had been circulating on social media in the days before it was corrected.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said the issue had been exaggerated. “The observations of some are trying to [create issues] by fishing in muddy water. Culture remains more significant than those small issues," he said.

Louvre Abu Dhabi said it is a universal museum, celebrating cross-cultural exchanges and tolerance.