The Louvre’s unspent €25m from Abu Dhabi

Posted May 7th, 2013 under Arab World, France, Museums, News

Louvre Abu Dhabi
A letter leaked to French newspaper Libération reveals not all has been well between emirati and French authorities. Ten days before the 200 works of art bought so far for the Louvre Abu Dhabi went on show on Saadiyat Island last month the paper. “The newspaper had been leaked a letter of remonstration written on 15 February 2012 by Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, to the then director of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette. Its most embarrassing revelation is that the museum has, since 2007, been sitting on €25m, which the Gulf state paid the Louvre for spaces on one floor of its Pavillon de Flore, currently housing the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, to be opened to the public and named in honour of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (above), the founder of the United Arab Emirates,” writes The Art Newspaper. “This money is over and above the €1bn that the Gulf state is paying over 30 years for the Louvre Abu Dhabi project.

Changing the use of the Pavillon de Flore depends on the conservators relocating to a new building that was planned under the previous government to house the stores of the major Paris museums outside the city’s flood-risk area, but the unions have baulked at moving and the building has been postponed by the current, left-wing government at the same time as it cancelled “certain projects, planned in a superficial and, more importantly, unbudgeted manner by the Sarkozy team” (Agence France Presse, 10 September 2012).

The Louvre and Abu Dhabi are currently negotiating to find some other suitable project in which to invest the €25m and commemorate Sheikh Zayed.”

Read on at The Art Newspaper.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ancient artefacts

The Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit at Manarat Al Saadiyat displays 130 artefacts which follows the universalism concept of museums, which attempts to demonstrate the relationship between civilizations through art. Senior project manager Celine Hullo discusses six of these artefacts.

- Abu Dhabi on this blog.

Image from e-architect. Renderings: Copyright Ateliers Jean Nouvel