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Juli Choquet
Thursday 9 November 2017 Last update on Thursday, November 9, 2017 At 9:32 AM

The Louvre Abu Dhabi opening gathered yesterday a prestigious guest list as the French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Her majesty Mohammed VI King of Morocco, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan from the powerful United Arab Emirates crown, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ashraf Ghani president of Afghanistan. Design by the architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi represents 20 years bilateral working between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French Government for a total cost estimated around 1 billion euros.

Credit: TDIC, Jean Nouvel.

“The highest degree of humanity” for Emmanuel Macron

A Cultural event like this has never been that political ! French observers analysed the project as a « cultural diplomacy ». True or not the Louvre Abu Dhabi gives a universal message of tolerance around countries, especially toward the Arab World. For the French president Emmanuel Macron: « we do not have something any better than promoting beauty, culture and education » (…) to « express to the highest degree of humanity ».

A 1 billion euros total coast

Culture is great but the Louvre Abu Dhabi is also an ambitious financial project. The building cost designed by Jean Nouvel is estimated between 83 to 108 million euros. Additionally, 453 million euros were paid by the Abu Dhabi city to be able to use the name « Le Louvre ». Another 644 million euros were added for art loans, special exhibition and management pieces of advice. Another 40 million euros will be dedicated for the purchase of works of art around the world. We can note down that the French museum the Louvre will not sell any of the artworks. The UAE consented to give another 25 million euros to finance the right wing of the Louvre (named L’aile du flore) renovation in Paris.

20 years to get out from the sand

The presence of the King of Morocco Mohamed VI is meaningful. Indeed Morocco is the cultural bridge between Europe and Africa. The King aims to develop his country as a cultural platform for the whole Africa.

Initiated in 2007 under the Jacques Chirac presidency, the project took 20 years to get out from the sand. The French Museum Agency was dedicated to coordinate the project despite the Arab Spring. Today this is the largest museum of the Arabian peninsula.


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