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Louvre Abu Dhabi to finally open in November
A decade after the US$1.1 billion contract was signed to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and following multiple construction delays, the new museum looks as if it will finally open this November.
A date in the second half of the month has even been mentioned during talks between officials from the Paris museum and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), although sources close to the project say this is only a “working date” depending on several technical and diplomatic factors, including the agenda of new French President Emmanuel Macron.
Delayed for more than five years, TDIC Chief Executive Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi recently advised that the near complete building ready for being handed over to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
An internal note was circulated at the Paris Louvre earlier this month calling on all departments to be ready by this summer to send the dozens of masterpieces promised under a loan program to Abu Dhabi, including the Belvedere Apollo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Belle Ferronnière.
A total of 300 works are expected from museums across France, to be shown along with part of the Emirati museum's own 700-strong collection.
Most of the construction work has been completed and a number of technical issues that arose -including the placement of the mesh-like 12,000-tonne, 18-metre-diameter cupola and sealing the building from the seawater the fills basins surrounding it - have been solved.
3,000 workers continue to labour round the clock to put the finishing touches on the building designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, but the museum has now, according the London-based journal The Art Newspaper, entered the “preparation phase, that includes testing (the building's stability and security), before art installation”.
The entire complex is now being thoroughly checked, and every minor fault, whether aesthetic or technical, must be fixed in the coming weeks.
The final stamp of approval will be given by the technical and security services of the French national museums umbrella organisation. According to information given to The Art Newspaper, this visit is scheduled for June. Several weeks will then be needed to stabilise the atmosphere in the galleries before the art can be installed.
An official opening date is expected to be announced soon, but it will apparently fall sometime between France’s Armistice Day on 11th November, the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the end of the month and a national holiday on 2nd December marking the UAE’s union.
President Macron’s election last weekend has also opened the way politically. The new President has promoted opening France to the world and a willingness to combat terrorism in the Middle East, and held his victory rally in Paris in the Louvre’s courtyard.
Images: How the Louvre Abu Dhabi will look when complete (top) and future exhibit the Belvedere Apollo (below).
24th November 2016 - SEA LET IN AS LOUVRE ABU DHABI SLOWLY MOVES TOWARDS OPENING
12th November 2016 - ABU DHABI LAUNCHES NEW TOURISM CAMPAIGN
28th September 2016 - ABU DHABI’S YAS ISLAND AIMS TO RAISE TOURISM PROFILE AND DOUBLE VISITS
20th September 2016 - LOUVRE ABU DHABI OPENING DELAYED TO 2017, NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTED
24th May 2016 - NO START DATE FOR GUGGENHEIM ABU DHABI PROJECT
23rd June 2015 - UAE LEISURE SECTOR TO ATTRACT 45 MILLION VISITORS BY 2021
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