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Sun 1 Apr 2007 05:11 PM

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Louvre Abu Dhabi to open by 2012

The governments of Abu Dhabi and France have signed a 30-year cultural accord for the creation of a 24,000m² Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.

The governments of Abu Dhabi and France have signed a 30-year cultural accord for the creation of a 24,000m² Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.

Expected to open in 2012 within the Cultural District of the Saadiyat Island development, the museum will have 6000m² of galleries devoted to permanent displays and 2000m² for temporary exhibitions, which will be organised annually and will be included in the programme of international exhibitions exchanged between major museums worldwide.

Designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum will house exhibits from a diversity of cultures, including predominantly classical works of art and other historical artefacts.

"[The museum is] destined to foster cultural dialogue between East and West," said Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Minister for Culture and Communications.

"France views this as a collective project that allows it to demonstrate to the world its unique expertise and know-how in the museum domain," he added.

The new agreement will ensure that French museum expertise will assist with the acquisition of an Abu Dhabi art collection over the next decade.

The support will also facilitate the development of educational programmes and specialised art conferences aimed at inspiring and developing the next generation of cultural leaders.

The contract also provides for long-term loans from the Louvre and major French museums such as the Musee du Quai Branley, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee d'Orsay, Versailles, Rodin and the Reunion des Musees Nationaux.

"This is a major achievement in Abu Dhabi's vision to become a world-class destination, bridging global cultures," said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

"It also creates an enriching environment to be treasured by, and to educate, generations to come."

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be joined by several other iconic museums in the emirate's new Cultural District, including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which will house modern and contemporary art.

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