By Salma Awwad
300 masterpieces from French museums are set for Abu Dhabi for a two year showcase
Masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh will be among 300 works displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi when it opens next year, it has been announced.
The pieces will be on loan from French museums and will be on display for up to two years, being replaced over time as the Louvre Abu Dhabi builds up its own collection.
"This will be the first time many of these works will travel to Abu Dhabi or even the Middle East, and are a rare opportunity to see important art from French museums," said Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the organisation behind the project.
Pieces that will on loan include da Vinci's ‘Portrait of an Unknown Woman’, Claude Monet's ‘Saint-Lazare Station’, Andy Warhol's ‘Big Electric Chair’ as well as some artworks from Antiquity, such as a 4,000-year-old statue of Mesopotamian ruler Gudea and a figurine of King Ramses II from Egypt's 19th dynasty
Amongst the renowned French museums loaning the art are The Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and the Château de Versailles, as part of a 30-year collaboration with the Abu Dhabi worth over $1 billion.
The museum, which is set to open in December 2015, cost over $630 million to build and covers an area of 64,000 square metre. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and built on Saadiyat Island, it will have feature a 6,000 square metre space dedicated to permanent installations and 2,000 square metre set aside for temporary exhibitions.