Louvre Abu Dhabi opening delayed to 2017, new director appointed
The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority has advised that the US$650 million Louvre Abu Dhabi museum will now open in 2017 with the exact date yet to be confirmed.
The museum was originally scheduled to open in 2012 but has been repeatedly delayed. As of October last year, officials said the opening would be pushed back until late 2016.
Now the authority has confirmed the Musée du Louvre branch will not open this year after reports in April indicated a December opening was a possibility.
In a statement, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) advised “the opening date is Louvre Abu Dhabi will welcome visitors in 2017 and its opening date is expected to be announced soon.”
The statement also revealed that French national Manuel Rabaté had been appointed as Museum Director.
Since 2013, Rabaté has been the Chief Executive of Agence France-Muséums, the organisation established to support the creation of the museum by Abu Dhabi and France having been part of the project since its conceptual phase.
He will be joined by UAE national Hissa Al Dhaheri in the role of Deputy Director, who headed up the Louvre project at the authority.
Rabaté is a holder of France’s National Order of Merit and has experience working at several of France’s most prestigious museums.
His previous roles include deputy director of the auditorium at Musée du Louvre in Paris and deputy director of cultural development at Musée du quai Branly, where he managed travelling exhibitions at locations including Bahrain National Museum.
Al Dhaheri is a former lecturer of global studies at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi and today manages the relationship with French partners to oversee the Louvre Abu Dhabi project.
ADTCA Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak explained “the appointment of Manuel Rabaté as the Director and Hissa Al Dhaheri as the Deputy Director celebrates the spirit of the museum.
“Their combined alliance and strong track record leading the team here in Abu Dhabi will be indispensable as we embark on the next pivotal stage of Louvre Abu Dhabi.”
ADTCA said construction of the project is nearing its final stages after which it will enter a preparation phase for testing, art installation and development of the visitor experience.
Louvre Abu Dhabi will be joined by a local branch of the Guggenheim and a museum dedicated to late UAE ruler Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as part of a wider cultural district on Saadiyat Island
The Guggenheim was scheduled to open in 2017, but work has yet to start on the site, while the Zayed National Museum has also been delayed.
Image: Louvre Abu Dhabi under construction.
24th May 2016 - NO START DATE FOR GUGGENHEIM ABU DHABI PROJECT
24th March 2016 - CULTURAL EVENTS SEASON LEADS IN TO LOUVRE ABU DHABI OPENING
7th July 2015 - LOUVRE ABU DHABI SET FOR LATE 2016 OPENING
18th June 2015 - ABU DHABI RECORDS 20% RISE IN VISITORS IN FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF 2015
11th June 2013 - MUSEUMS DRIVE ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION
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