A new era in museology was ushered in yesterday as the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to inaugural public viewings over the next few days. The first-ever universal museum in the Arab world, Louvre Abu Dhabi challenges the more traditional modes of representation in favour of new cultural and cross-category dialogues.
From the moment of entry, objects and artefacts from early history to modern times speak to the viewer – and to each other – with a narrative that has a strong underlying educational mission. Meticulous planning, display, and installation lift the artefact to a realm of true appreciation, informed by exquisite curation and the significance of other artworks that surround it. The mission is clearly to move away from dry, Cartesian historical categorisation towards an edifying cross-fertilisation that encourages the bringing together of civilisations rather than setting them apart.
10 years in the making, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is redefining how to look at art in an institutional setting. Topped with the extraordinary latticed cupola that lets in the filtered light we know from regional bazaars and traditional windows, Jean Nouvel’s architecture is nothing less than an ode to beauty. Abu Dhabi is ready to welcome the world to what is undoubtedly one of the finest museums ever established in recent times.