New Agency to oversee Louvre Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, August 12, 2007
A powerful new agency has been formed to steer the development of the planned Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The agency will be represented by some of the most prominent cultural personalities in France, said a statement.
The project is to be built in the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island – just 500 metres offshore Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
The French Museums agency, will operate in collaboration with the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) which is behind the transformation of Saadiyat Island and will be chaired by leading French financier and member of the country’s Academie des Beaux Arts, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, publisher of the intellectual periodical Revue des Deux Mondes with Bruno Maquart, the former executive director of Centre Pompidou acting as executive director.
“The French Museums agency comprises some of the finest minds in the French cultural arena,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and TDIC chairman.
“Working closely with the Tourism Development & Investment Company, the French Museums agency members will be responsible for most aspects of planning of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, including the scientific and cultural program, advising on the architecture, design and acquisitions, handling loans, temporary exhibitions, management support, visitor development and services. Together we have formulated a world-class team which will deliver a truly outstanding facility of international appeal.”
Agency stakeholders comprise representatives of the Louvre, Musée du Quai Branly, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Musée Guimet, Domaine national de Versailles, Domaine national de Chambord, Réunion de musées nationaux, Ecole du Louvre and the capital projects organization EP de maitrise d’ouvrage des travaux culturels.
The agency includes Henri Loyrette, chairman and director of the Louvre and former director of the Musée d’Orsay who will chair its Scientific Committee; Laurence des Cars, the former curator of Musée d’Orsay who will act as scientific director; and Sylvie Aubenas, curator of the BNF’s Engraving and Photography Department who will also serve on the Scientific Committee.
Under its management support jurisdiction, the agency will supply expertise in the fields of restoration, curatorship, exhibition design as well as provide the required training for the Museum Operating Body that will be in charge of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
“Our long-term ambition is to see UAE nationals fully trained in these specialist fields and we intend to activate a series of art and cultural education initiatives to ignite within young Emiratis a determination to take up vocations in these sectors,” said Sheikh Sultan. “A dedicated training action plan will be rolled out within 18 months with training sessions to be held in France and Abu Dhabi.”
Planning for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, for which the French award-winning architect Jean Nouvel delivered the concept design, follows a 30-year cultural accord sealed earlier this year between the governments of Abu Dhabi and the Republic of France.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of several iconic museums and arts centres being planned for Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District. Others include: the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi modern and contemporary art museum, a Maritime Museum, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, a performing arts centre and a Biennale Park with a host of museum clusters. Together they make up the world’s largest cultural destination.
Jean Nouvel’s design concept for the Louvre Abu Dhabi is currently on show in an exhibition devoted to Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District which is open daily to the public in the UAE capital’s Emirates Palace Hotel – TradeArabia News Service