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Guggenheim Museum for Abu Dhabi

Guggenheim Museum for Abu Dhabi
September 8, 2008

The New York-based Guggenheim Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Abu Dhabi government to open a new museum in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (to be designed by Frank Gehry, the architect responsible for the iconic Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain) will be the biggest in the Foundation's portfolio.

The 30,000 metre2 museum will be located in the cultural district of Saadiyat Island, located 500 metre offshore of the UAE capital, and will feature contemporary art as well as masterworks from the Guggenheim Foundation's global collections.

It is expected to be completed within five years.

Speaking about the development, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, stated that "the signing represents the determination of the Abu Dhabi government to create a world-class cultural destination for its residents and visitors", adding that "this is a major step forward in our plans for Saadiyat Island and its cultural district, which will be an international cultural hub for the Middle East on a par with the best in the world."

Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development & Investment Company will own the museum, while the Guggenheim Foundation will establish and manage its program.

William Mack, Chair of the Guggenheim Foundation, said: "it is with a keen sense of historical precedent and with an abiding commitment to cultural exchange as a bridge to international understanding that the foundation enters into this agreement to establish a Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi."

The Guggenheim Foundation currently owns and operates three museums (the Guggenheim Museum in New York, USA; The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas) and provides management and programming for two others (The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin).

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