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Louvre Abu Dhabi collection details revealed

Louvre Abu Dhabi collection details revealed
September 19, 2012

A Paul Gauguin masterpiece and the first known photograph of a veiled woman have been acquired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

Other rare acquisitions include one of the finest examples of a standing Bactrian Princess from the end of the third millennium BC (pictured), and a pavement and fountain ensemble dating from the early Ottoman period.

Paul Gauguin's masterpiece Breton Boys Wrestling from 1888 and Joseph Girault de Prangey's photograph Ayoucha will also be unveiled at a series of upcoming public events in Abu Dhabi.

The events will include a series of lectures, organised jointly by the Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) Abu Dhabi, Agence France-Muséums and the Ecole du Louvre, to provide insights into the museum's narrative and collection ahead of its opening.

TCA Abu Dhabi Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan explained "we are pleased to share with the public the vast array of works acquired for Louvre Abu Dhabi, and allow for them to experience and interact with the museum's content as we shape its collection and prepare for the opening.

"The art works have been carefully acquired and compliment the universal narrative of the museum, representing world civilisations and important artistic periods across time."

Louvre Museum President-Director Henri Loyrette added "I am particularly pleased with the progress of Louvre Abu Dhabi. The Talking Art Series are an essential step in building awareness of the future museum and its collection, enriched by new, exceptional acquisitions."

Louvre Abu Dhabi has also announced plans to hold a Birth of a Museum exhibition in April 2013. A version of the exhibition will also be shown in Paris at the Louvre Museum.

Louvre Abu Dhabi first started sharing its collection with the public through an exhibition titled Talking Art: Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in May 2009.

The exhibition presented the first 19 acquisitions for the institution, including a Mamluk Holy Qur'an from the 14th century, a 5th century Fibula from Domagnano, a Virgin and Child by Bellini and Mondrian's Composition with blue, red, yellow and black from 1922.

The Louvre is the first of several high-profile projects, including a branch of the Guggenheim, planned for the $27bn Saadiyat Island development.

Its future was called into question when TDIC scrapped a major construction contract in October.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company said in January that the Louvre Abu Dhabi would now open in 2015 while Abu Dhabi's branch of New York's Guggenheim, will open in 2017.

It also said the Zayed National Museum will open in 2016. All the three museums were originally scheduled to open between 2013 and 2014.

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