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Louvre Abu Dhabi: UAE museum unveiled by Emmanuel Macron

Louvre Abu Dhabi: UAE museum unveiled by Emmanuel Macron
From BBC - November 8, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a 1bn newly-built museum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The new Louvre, built over the past 10 years, holds 600 artworks permanently and 300 loaned from France.

Praised by critics, the building boasts a latticed dome designed to allow the desert sun to filter through.

It holds art and items related to history and religion from around the world and Mr Macron called it a "bridge between civilisations".

He said: "Those who seek to say Islam is the destruction of other religions are liars."

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 $654m (then 340m) budget.

In addition, the museum is paying France hundreds of millions of dollars for the use of the Louvre name and for loans of artworks and managerial advice.

The museum has attracted its share of controversy over concerns about the welfare of the workers constructing the building.

But critics have declared the finished building -the first to open in a series of projects conceived by UAE authorities at creating a cultural oasis on the Abu Dhabi island of Saadiyat - a "mesmerising" success, if with a "touch of bling".

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