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Thu 2 Nov 2017 02:39 PM

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Revealed: what you will find inside Louvre Abu Dhabi

How artworks and artefacts from the Gulf region will be displayed alongside the permanent collection

Revealed: what you will find inside Louvre Abu Dhabi

Artworks and artefacts from the Gulf region will be displayed alongside Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection and 300 loans from the Louvre Museum and 12 leading French partner museums.

Together, they will tell a story of art from pre-history showcasing archaeological findings to contemporary times with installations of established regional artists, state news agency WAM reported.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is set to open its doors on November 11 on Saadiyat Island, includes 6,000 square metres of galleries, exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a research centre, a restaurant, a boutique and a café.

Highlights of loans from the region include a prehistoric stone tool dating back to 350,000 BCE, a milestone indicating the distance from Makkah in Kufic inscriptions, and a funerary stele from Makkah dating back to 700–900 CE from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.

There will also be a collection of over 400 silver Dirham coins from the Abbasid Caliphate of Iraq, the Samanid Dynasty and the Saffarid Dynasty discovered in Sidamahin 2005 from the National Museum of Oman.

An 8000-year-old two-headed figure from Jordan’s Department of Antiquities called Ain Ghazal Statue will also feature, WAM said.

Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, president and chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said: "The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a significant international cultural event particularly on the regional level, given that it is a result of the cooperation between leading global cultural establishments.

"The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is proud to be associated with the Louvre Abu Dhabi as one of the partners in creating this international cultural event," he added.

Displayed in the museum’s first gallery for visitors to explore are loans from the UAE, including a precious pendant dating back to 2000-1300 BCE from the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah.

Also displayed in the gallery will be a painted Neolithic vase from the island of Marawah, the oldest ceramic vessel yet discovered in the country.

In addition, a fragment of stucco from an ancient church in Sir Bani Yas, as well as an axe-head from Al Ain Museum dating 1000–600 BCE, will be shown.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: "Louvre Abu Dhabi’s visitors will learn about the UAE’s rich past and contemporary art scene through these loans, which was a crossroad of many civilisations, leading to our cosmopolitan city of today."

Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first of the future Saadiyat Cultural District museums and will open to the public with a display of loaned artworks from the collections of Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Zayed National Museum will lend a selection of calligraphic works on paper, including Ottoman scrolls containing important paintings, texts and letter forms from the region.

A selection of works from Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s collection by renowned artists such Abdullah Al Saadi, the late Hassan Sharif and Ibrahim El-Salahi will feature in the contemporary chapter of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s display.

Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: "Displaying these artworks demonstrates the collaboration between the local and regional institutions help to tell the story of art from a Middle Eastern perspective, and supports the ongoing cross-cultural exchange and understanding which Louvre Abu Dhabi embodies."

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