Morocco’s King who is on a visit to Abu Dhabi took part in unveiling the Louvre Museum alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, who was accompanied by his spouse Brigitte macron, the King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa as well as President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
On this occasion, King Mohammed VI offered the Museum gifts namely artworks dating back to the 19th century, such as a Holy Quran manuscript, a rifle, a sword and a cedar wood door from Fez.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Governor of Dubai, underlined that the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an additional asset to the human heritage, and that the museum is a work of art that brings together the East and the West. It is an inter-civilizational bridge.
A symbol of tolerance and communion, this museum stands for “our capacity to fight evil forces of violence and hatred,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, calling for a genuine inter-civilizational coalition to preserve human civilization.
Echoing him, President Macron said this “Louvre of desert and light is a bridge between generations, cultures and East and West.”
“By bringing together these masterpieces with other masterpieces from Arab antiquities, Islamic art, pre-Columbian art, and Chinese art, with artists from beyond ages as contemporary artists from Morocco, UAE and China, we are contemplating an epic fresco of civilizations coming together,” said the French president.
Addressing the museum’s architect, Jean Nouvel, President Macron told him: “You have built a temple for beauty.”
“Beauty builds a bridge between continents and generations,” he said. The museum had a universal message, Macron added, referring to the UAE’s role as pivotal and at the heart of a region with some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Earlier, Macron hailed the museum as a “decisive turning point” in ties with the UAE in an interview with local daily Al-Ittihad published on Wednesday.
The project, agreed between France and Abu Dhabi in 2007, was initially intended to open in 2012 but was delayed by the global financial crisis and plummeting oil prices, sending the final cost soaring over its original $654 million budget.
The Paris Louvre is a landmark in the French capital and the world’s largest art museum, with millions of visitors a year.
The Abu Dhabi building that brings to mind an Arab medina (an ancient quarter of a city) features a geometric structure of 7,850 stars. As the sun passes above, its light filters through the perforations in the dome to create an inspiring effect within the museum known as the “rain of light”, inspired by the palm trees of Abu Dhabi.