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Video: Exporting France's Louvre to Abu Dhabi

Latest update : 2017-11-10

By Olivia SALAZAR-WINSPEAR , Renaud LEFORT , Georges YAZBECK , Lyana SALEH

As the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors this Saturday after a ten-year wait, FRANCE 24 brings you a special programme on the museum the world has been waiting for. Billed as the first "universal" museum in the Middle East, its collection takes the visitor from pre-historic times to the present day via a diverse selection of art and artefacts. The Louvre Abu Dhabi's award-winning architect Jean Nouvel tells Olivia Salazar-Winspear about the challenges of designing the unique building.

FRANCE 24 takes a look around the museum the world has been waiting for: the Louvre Abu Dhabi has opened its doors on Saadiyat Island after a ten-year wait. The project was backed by Paris from the outset with loans from thirteen different French establishments making up a collection that takes the visitor from pre-historic times to the present day, via a diverse selection of treasures.

Its directors describe the newest Louvre as the first universal museum in the Middle East, displaying art and artefacts from around the world side by side and breaking down the partitions of classical museology. It’s a new way of telling the story of human civilization, and one that hopes to draw crowds to this “crossroad of cultures”. In an ambitious cultural strategy, the United Arab Emirates are looking to lure visitors from Asia, Africa and the Middle East with a collection that celebrates their shared history.

Olivia Salazar-Winspear sits down with award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, who talks about the challenges of designing a 21st century museum in a landscape between sand, sea and sky. And we take a closer look at the collection itself and find out just what’s made it onto the walls of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.