Friday, September 28, 2012

The Louvre Abu Dhabi: an ambitious and innovative project

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, as already announced, has confirmed 2015 as a new opening date, Starting October art lovers will get an opportunity to check how the ambitious museum’s permanent art collection is being conceived by investments in new exciting acquisitions.

They all will be the focus of the Louvre Abu Dhabi: Talking Art series of lectures. The the second edition has been jointly organized by Agence France-Muséums, the École du Louvre, and the Tourism and Culture Authority of Abu Dhabi. The program is a way of getting the people involved, interested, and also to keep them up to date, apart from sharing some of the museum collection. An official note on the site describes it as the Arab world’s first ever universal museum. Here are some of its major milestones and the idea behind it:
  • Transferring to an Arab country a cultural form born in Enlightenment Europe, its deep sense of identity is rooted in the notions of discovery, exchange and thus education. Its very name affirms the unprecedented alliance between the world’s biggest museum, a permanent place of beauty and knowledge, and modern Arabia, whose exceptional dynamism is at the heart of the contemporary world. 
  • It is not a matter of reproducing the Louvre, or following its scientific itinerary to the letter, but rather extending in its name a generous invitation to a sensitive and enlightened view. The notions of sharing and universal knowledge that prevailed at the opening of the Muséum National in 1793 are thus incorporated into this project.
  • The museum is first and foremost the reflection of a world in which, as Boissy d’Anglas writes, “the whole world is eager to leave its treasures, its rarities, its productions and all the accounts of its history.” - through loans provided for in the intergovernmental agreement, the contributions from a number of French public collections, particularly those of the Agence France-Muséums shareholder institutions: the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée et domaine national de Versailles, the Musée Guimet, the Musée du Quai Branly, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Musée Rodin.
  • For the first time in their museum history, these ensembles will often find continuity and unity of presentation, going beyond habitual institutional boundaries. Multidisciplinary, and contemplating the concomitance and correspondence of artistic expressions from different civilizations, the scientific and cultural choices of the Louvre Abu Dhabi will encourage the exploration of new approaches and open new perspectives on French museum heritage.

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