Originally slated to open its doors in 2012, The Louvre Abu Dhabi finally has an opening date – and it’s sooner than you think. The highly anticipated museum will open to the public on November 11. In Vogue Arabia’s November issue, Danna Lorch speaks to the Emirati deputy director Hissa Al Dhaheri to explore the ambitious and patriotic opening of the momentous Louvre Abu Dhabi. The issue out now – don’t miss Vogue‘s take on the opening.
Designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Jean Nouvel (who also designed the Arab World Institute in Paris and Serpentine Galleries in London), the Abu Dhabi branch of the iconic museum will be the first Louvre outside of Paris. The project was commissioned at a staggering AED2.4 billion.
Shaped like a flying saucer, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is located in the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island (where a Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum and the Zayed National Museum are taking shape), covers 24,000 sqm, making it significantly smaller than the Musée du Louvre, which currently holds the title of the largest museum in the world at 60,600 sqm.
The museum is set to feature 23 permanent galleries and more than 600 exhibitions, with 300 prehistoric and contemporary artworks from 13 key French institutions, including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou in Paris during its opening year. Notable works will include Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferroniere, Claude Monet’s Saint-Lazare, and Henri Matisse’s Still Life With Magnolia. Additionally, there will be four temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including one based on the Louvre in Paris.