Louvre Abu Dhabi

Jul 4, 2018

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Thanks to Phil Hoffmann Travel.

Opened in November 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was born out of a cultural collaboration formed between France and the United Arab Emirates in 2007. The first universal museum in the Arab world, the museum brings the Louvre name to Abu Dhabi and presents both ancient and contemporary works of historic, cultural and sociological interest from around the world.

While it includes art from its own collection alongside many masterpieces on loan from French institutions, it’s by no means a carbon copy of its Parisian counterpart. The museum’s galleries tell the story of humanity in twelve inspiring chapters with works on show ranging from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary artworks.

The physical building of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a remarkable work of art in itself. Inspired by the architecture and traditions of the United Arab Emirates, architect Jean Nouvel designed an architectural feat that is also a powerful symbol of the nation’s vision and achievements. It has been designed as a micro-city – an archipelago in the sea - made up of 55 detached buildings, 23 of which are devoted to galleries.

The centerpiece is a huge silvery dome that seemingly floats above the entire complex. Despite giving the illusion of being weightless, the dome weighs nearly 7,500 tonnes – the same weight as Paris’s Eiffel Tower. The dome is a complex, geometric structure of 7,850 stars, repeated at varying sizes and angles in different layers. To give perspective, the largest star is 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes. The diameter of the dome’s base is 180 metres. As light filters through the gaps in the dome, a ‘rain of light’ effect is created, dappling sunlight throughout the space. Not just for beauty, the dome also serves a function, acting as a shading canopy to protect the buildings and visitors from the heat of the sun.

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