Abu Dhabi – The Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and President of France Emmanuel Macron, on Wednesday opened the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France.
In attendance were King Mohammed VI of Morocco, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, and a host of guests representing several brotherly and friendly countries.
An iconic architectural masterpiece, Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first museum of its kind in the Arab world. It displays a unique a rare collection that spans the history of humanity, arranged on a chronological journey from prehistory to the present day, encompassing 12 chapters including the birth of the first villages; universal religions; cosmography; the magnificence of the royal court; and the modern world.
Ahead of the opening, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, received the heads of state upon their arrival to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The guests toured the different sections of the museum and marveled at the rare pieces on display of ancient masterpieces, including Bactrian Princess created in Central Asia at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE, a Grecian sphinx from the 6th century BCE, a Gothic Bible, as well as a winged dragon statue from China.
They also stopped at other ancient and contemporary pieces from the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and France and other countries.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his speech said, “We welcome you and the whole world to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a unique and iconic masterpiece that Abu Dhabi is adding to the heritage of humanity.”
“4,000 years ago, our region saw the birth of the one of the oldest civilisations in the world, the Sumerian civilisation in the Mesopotamia. The Sumerian believed that the sky above us was in fact a large dome, while the earth was a flat disc, surrounded by a rim of mountains. Then came the Babylonian civilisation .. likewise, they believed the sky was a large dome dotted with moving stars and comets and was carried by two mountains from the East and the West. Today, we gather here under a new dome that tells the world we can meet, talk and come closer.”
He said, “History is a continuous journey of cultural interaction among the nations. Our Arab and Islamic civiliastion was founded on previous civilisations. The European renaissance could only take off after interacting with the our Islamic civilization. Today, we share a global civilisation, represented by the Louvre Abu Dhabi .. a melting point for intellect and humanity .. a place for tolerance and interaction.”
This landmark was made possible thanks to the deep-rooted relations between the UAE and France. It will be a turning point in the cultural scene in the region. There is a lot more to be done .. but we embark on our openness and on the French vast cultural experience, to achieve more.