The Louvre will open its Abu Dhabi branch to the public this Saturday, November 11th with a week-long series of celebratory events. Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the waterfront space is located in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district on Saadiyat Island. The museum’s inaugural installation features 600 works of art, half from its own holdings and half from its 13 partner museums in France (highlights include Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronnière” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait”). The collection explores a universal narrative through global artworks and artifacts spanning prehistory to the present.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, explained the new museum’s mission: “Louvre Abu Dhabi sets a benchmark for the region attracting the next generation of talented museum professionals. It has reinvented the 18th-century premise of the universal museum for a demanding contemporary audience. In a complex multi-narrative world, these ideas are more important than ever. By exhibiting works from diverse cultures in the same space, our curation shows the interconnectedness of different ideologies, aesthetics and artistic techniques. The museum story transports visitors through a history of humanity illuminated by our collection of exceptional treasures.”

Special opening week events include a light show and firework display by world-renowned Group F., a sold-out show by French singer and guitarist Matthieu Chedid, and performances by international dance troupes.

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