15 facts about the new Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is opening its white artistic doors on November 11, 2017. In celebration of this achievement, our colleagues at Arabian Business put together a few 'fun facts' about the Emirates' most cultural attraction.
- The museum is built on a 97,000 square metre site on Saadiyat Island, a low-lying island 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi that is the site of some tourism and development projects.
- Engineers had to move 503,000 cubic meters of sand to lay the foundations for the museum.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of a vast "museum city" that includes 55 white buildings inspired by traditional Arab medinas. It also includes the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, still under construction.
- The museum will host 23 permanent galleries.
- The entire area is covered by a silvery latticework dome that is 36 metres high and weighs 7,500 tonnes -- almost as much as the Eiffel Tower.
Watch: Inside the Louvre
The dome appears to float, as its four pillars are hidden within the museum.
- The dome is composed of eight superimposed layers: four outer layers in stainless steel and four inner layers separated by a steel structure that is five metres high.
- The layering of 7,850 patterned perforations creates what cinematographers call a "rain of light": each ray of the sun must cross through all eight layers to reach the ground, creating an intricate and ever-shifting pattern.
- Indoor exhibition spaces will cover a total area of 8,600 square metres.
- The museum's galleries will cover 6,400 square metres and showcase 600 works of art, including 300 loaned by 13 French museums for the inaugural year.
- The space dedicated to temporary exhibitions will cover 2,000 square metres and children's museum has a dedicated area of 200 square metres.
- The permanent galleries will cover art and artefacts from the earliest Mesopotamian civilisations to the present day.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi was initiated as a result of an Emirati request and was set up under a 2007 inter-governmental agreement between Paris and Abu Dhabi.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi is said to have cost funders over one billion euros, including 400 million euros to carry the Louvre name.
- The construction of the museum has been estimated at nearly 600 million euros, but costs have risen due to delays in funding and development.