The Louvre Abu Dhabi will open to the public on November 11, more than a decade after the project was first announced.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, tweeted the news, saying “the UAE boosts its global cultural presence with the museum's opening.”
Louvre Abu Dhabi director, Manuel Rabaté, and Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) confirmed the opening date.
The announcement comes 10 years, 8 months and 250 days after the signing of the unprecedented inter-governmental agreement that kick-started the project, The National has reported.
Speaking to the local daily days prior to the announcement, Al Mubarak emphasised the importance of the museum’s opening, not just as a cultural institution, but as a statement of intent.
The museum will be fully-operational when it opens, with almost 700 exhibits on display; approximately half of which will belong to the museum’s permanent collection.
The other half will consist of loans from 13 major French cultural institutions including the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the news statement says.
Visitors will have the chance to view masterpieces including Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh, and Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic La Belle Ferronniére, which will leave Europe for the first time to become the first painting by the Renaissance polymath to be exhibited in the Middle East, the report adds.
Developed by the Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) in the Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum was first announced in 2007.
The construction contract was awarded to an Arabtec-led joint venture with Constructora San Jose and Oger Abu Dhabi in 2013.