The Louvre Abu Dhabi on Wednesday announced it would open its doors to the public on November 11. Here are some key figures:
- The museum is built on a 97,000 square metre site on Saadiyat Island, a low-lying island 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi that is the site of a number of tourism and development projects.
- Engineers had to move 503,000 cubic meters of sand to lay the foundations for the museum.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of a vast "museum city" that includes 55 white buildings inspired by traditional Arab medinas. It also includes the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, still under construction.
- The museum will host 23 permanent galleries.
- The entire area is covered by a latticework silvery dome that is 36 metres high, and weighs 7,500 tonnes -- almost as much as the Eiffel Tower.
- The dome appears to float, as its four pillars are hidden within the museum.
- The dome is composed of eight superimposed layers: four outer layers in stainless steel and four inner layers separated by a steel structure that is five metres high.
- The layering of 7,850 patterned perforations creates what cinematographers call a "rain of light": each ray of the sun must cross through all eight layers to reach the ground, creating an intricate and ever-shifting pattern.
- Indoor exhibition spaces will cover a total area of 8,600 square metres.
- The museum's galleries will cover 6,400 square metres and showcase 600 works of art, including 300 loaned by 13 French museums for the inaugural year.
- The space dedicated to temporary exhibitions will cover 2,000 square metres and children's museum has a dedicated area of 200 square metres.
- The permanent galleries will cover art and artefacts from the earliest Mesopotamian civilisations to the present day.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi was initiated as a result of an Emirati request and was set up under a 2007 inter-governmental agreement between Paris and Abu Dhabi.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi is said to have cost funders over one billion euros, including 400 million euros to carry the Louvre name.
- The construction of the museum has been estimated at nearly 600 million euros, but costs have risen due to delays in funding and construction.
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