Birth of a Museum

Press Release
2 May–28 July 2014
Hall Napoléon
Birth of a Museum
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi is unveiling the best of its new collection for
the first time in France; more than one hundred and sixty of the
finest masterpieces already acquired by the UAE museum will
be presented in May in Paris, during a major exhibition entitled
"Birth of a Museum".
Louvre Abu Dhabi, which will be opening in December 2015,
will be the first universal museum created in the Middle East, a
region at the crossroads of civilizations. Its collection of old and
contemporary works from different countries has been
gradually growing since 2009 with each new acquisition.
The exhibition will enable the French public to get a preview of
the cultural wealth of the collection of the future museum and
also to grasp the architectural and cultural project.
Yves Klein, Anthropometry untitled (ANT 110)
Paris, France, 1960
Pure pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted
on canvas
H. 201.3 cm; W. 147.3 cm
LAD 2011-006
© Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris 2014
Shot : ©Louvre Abu Dhabi, photographie APF
An Exhibition organised by the Musée du
Louvre and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture
Practical information
Opening hours
Every day except Tuesdays from 9 am
to 5:45 pm; Wednesdays and Fridays
until 9:45 pm.
Tickets for temporary
exhibitions: €13
Combined Ticket (permanent collections
+ “Birth of a Museum” exhibition ): €16
Free admission to visitors under the age
of 18, the unemployed, card holders of
Young Louvre, Teachers Louvre ,
Professionals Louvre, Students Louvre,
partner cards or Friends of the Louvre
Information: 01 40 20 53
A permanent collection unveiled in Paris
The "Birth of a Museum" exhibition is the first major presentation
in Paris of the collection of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, associated with
the evocation of the architecture of Jean Nouvel as well as the local
context of its development. It will unveil a selection of more than
one hundred and sixty works acquired since 2009 by the Emirate,
which has benefited from the expertise of the teams from Abu
Dhabi and Agence France-Museums. Among these exceptional
works there is a statue called Bactrian "Princess", a gold bracelet
with figures of lions made in Iran nearly 3,000 years ago, a rare
Greek archaic sphinx, a large Bodhisattva from Pakistan, a fibula
(brooch) in gold with garnets from Italy dating from the fifth
century AD, a magnificent Virgin with Child by Bellini, paintings
by Jordaens, Caillebotte, Manet, Gauguin, Magritte, a previously
unseen papier-collé by Picasso and nine paintings by the recently
deceased American painter Cy Twombly. The aim of the exhibition
is built around a chronological thread and some major artistic and
aesthetic issues that already emphasize the principles at the heart of
the identity of the Louvre Abu Dhabi: universalism, the
confrontation of artistic testimonies of the great civilizations, from
ancient times to the contemporary scene, highlighting the
multidisciplinary nature of the fields of artistic creation.
A similar exhibition have already been presented to the public in
Abu Dhabi from 22 April to 20 July 2013 at Manarat Al Saadiyat,
the art and exhibition centre of Saadiyat Island Cultural District.
The exhibition was inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Hazaa
Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President of the Executive Council of
the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Aurélie Filippetti,
French Minister of Culture and Communication.
Head of External Relations
Press Contact
Anne-Laure Béatrix
Adel Ziane
Sophie Grange
[email protected]
Tél. + 33 1 40 20 53 14 / + 33 6 72 54 74 53
Lion bracelet
Ziwiye, Iran, Eighth – seventh century BCE
Gold, W. max. 6.5 cm; Diam. max. 9.5 cm
© Louvre Abu Dhabi / Thierry Ollivier
First Universal museum in the Arab world
By an intergovernmental agreement signed on 6 March 2007, the
UAE and France decided to create a universal museum named
Louvre Abu Dhabi which is scheduled to open in December 2015.
This unprecedented move lays the foundations for a new type of
cultural cooperation between the two countries around the birth of
a national institution. As the first universal museum in the Arab
world, Louvre Abu Dhabi is an ambitious project whose identity is
underpinned by the notions of discovery, contact and, therefore,
education. The future museum will not, in any way, be a copy of
the French Louvre in Abu Dhabi; instead, it will be an original
institution, with its own collection, offering its own interpretation
of a universal museum, reflecting its own era and the local
traditions of the host country.
Louvre Abu Dhabi aims to be a place of dialogue between
civilizations and cultures. Its uniqueness will be based on an
overarching vision of artistic creation and it will adopt an original
way to present collections, combining loans from French
collections and works from the Louvre Abu Dhabi's own currently
developing collection, on a rotating basis over ten years.
The construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean
Nouvel, winner of the Pritzker Prize, has begun on Saadiyat Island.
Designed as a "museum city", protected from the sun by a large
dome, the buildings extend out over the water. The Louvre Abu
Dhabi will cover nearly 64,000 m2, with 9,200 m2 reserved for art
galleries, 6,000 m2 for the permanent gallery and 2,000 m2 for
temporary exhibitions of international importance.
Exhibition curators
Vincent Pomarède, Director of the Department of Paintings at the
Musée du Louvre, General Curator of the exhibition
Associated with
Laurence des Cars, Director of the Musée de
Khalid Abdulkhaliq Abdulla, Assistant Curator for Birth of a
Museum, TCA Abu Dhabi (Tourism & Culture Authority)
Giovanni Bellini (Venice, c. 1430–1516)
Madonna and Child
Venice, Italy, c. 1480–85
Oil on panel, H. 70.5 cm; W. 50.5 cm
© Louvre Abu Dhabi / Thierry Ollivier
Agence France-Muséums, chaired by Marc Ladreit de
Lacharrière, reunites the partner institutions of the Louvre Abu
Dhabi: the Louvre Museum, the Pompidou Centre, the public
establishment of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie,
the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Musée du Quai Branly,
the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Public Establishment of the
Museum and National Estate of Versailles, the Musée Guimet, the
École du Louvre, the Rodin Museum, the Domaine National de
Chambord and the Etablissement Public de Maitrise d’Ouvrage des
Travaux Culturels.
Jean-Luc Martinez chairs the Scientific Council. Manuel Rabaté
manages the Agency team as Chief Executive Officer.
Application to download / audio guide
A selection of artworks commented by
the exhibition’s curators.
Free App
Exhibition catalogue: Louvre Abu Dhabi. Birth of a Museum,
edited by Laurence des Cars. Coed. Louvre Museum/Tourism and
Culture Authority (TCA)/Skira Flammarion, 320 p., 300 ill. In
French (€45), English (€49) and Arabic (€65).
The album : 56 p., 70 ill. To be published in April 2014. Coed.
Louvre Museum/Flammarion. In French, English and Arabic
Around the exhibition
Presentation lecture about the exhibition
Monday, 5 May 12:30 pm
by Khalid Abdulkhaliq Abdulla, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Laurence
des Cars, Musée de l’Orangerie, Vincent Pomarède, Musée du
Setting the scene
Wednesday, 28 May 12:30 pm
Stῡpa reliquary, South India, Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati region
by Vincent Lefèvre, Ministry of Culture and Communication
Directorate General for heritage
International Symposium
Bactrian “princess”
Central Asia, Late third millenium BCE–early
second millenium BCE
Chlorite for the body and headdress, calcite for the
face, H. 25.3 cm
© Louvre Abu Dhabi / Thierry Ollivier
Wednesday, 18 June from 9:30 am to 6 pm
Around the Louvre Abu Dhabi for a comprehensive
history of art?
Programme to come
Filmed theatre
Sunday, 4 May, 2 pm to 8:30 pm
The Mahâbhârata
Projection of 3 episodes of the cult film based on the show by
Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carrière featuring the founder of
the book of Indian religion, history and thought.
In the auditorium
Thursday, 22 May at 8 pm
Toufic Farroukh & the Absolute Orchestra
A concert celebrating the marriage of jazz and Arabic music
Free concert under the pyramid
Saturday, 21 June at 10 pm
Orchestre de Paris
Paavo Järvi, music director
Moussorgski, Pictures at an Exhibition
Osman Hamdi Bey (Istanbul, 1842–Galatasaray Islet, 1910)
A Young Emir Studying, Istanbul, 1878
Oil on canvas, H. 45.5 cm; W. 90 cm
© Louvre Abu Dhabi / Agence photo F