Did you know there is a second Louvre museum in addition to the original one in Paris? Born of a collaboration between Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a universal museum that enables visitors to experience art and humanity in a new light. It opened in November 2017.
Master works by many of the world’s greatest artists are on display, revealing threads of creativity that connect diverse cultures across thousands of years.
From the museum website, https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae:
“The origins of Louvre Abu Dhabi date back to 2007 when France and the United Arab Emirates came together to develop a new kind of cultural institution. The result is a museum rooted in universal human values, the first if its kind in the region. Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the dynamic nature of the contemporary Arab world, while celebrating the region’s vibrant multicultural heritage.”
“What does it mean to be ‘universal’? For Louvre Abu Dhabi, it means focusing on what unites us: the stories of human creativity that transcend individual cultures or civilizations, times or places. The galleries are not separated by geography but in chronological order. The aim is to induce respect, curiosity, learning and self-reflection.”
International architect Jean Nouvel designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi. “The centerpiece of Nouvel’s version is a huge silvery dome that appears to float above the entire museum–city. Despite its apparent weightlessness, the dome in fact weighs approximately 7,500 tons (the same as the Eiffel Tower in Paris). Inspired by the cupola, a distinctive feature in Arabic architecture, Nouvel’s dome is a complex, geometric structure of 7,850 stars, repeated at various sizes and angles in eight different layers. As the sun passes above, its light filters through the perforations in the dome to create an inspiring effect within the museum, known as the ‘rain of light’. This ode to nature and the elements takes its inspiration from the palm trees of Abu Dhabi. Their leaves catch the bright sunlight from above to dapple and soften its projection onto the ground.”