Nope, not a typo: Abu Dhabi does have a Louvre – the first museum called Louvre besides the original one.
Picture By Wikiemirati – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65054805
I wanted to take a picture of the rather spectacular building from outside – but it was way, way too hot to walk far enough away to get a panorama, so here’s a shot from Wikipedia instead.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is not like other art museums, where they showcase some artist or style per room. Instead, it’s a tour through the history of civilisation, with art from all over the world illustrating common concepts – like showing death masks made out of gold from 3 different continents next to each other.
Of course, Ramses II. (all over the place in Egypt) shows up here, too, but juxtaposed with some classic statues from Assyria, and e.g. a bust of Augustus from Rome.
Some coins found in the U.A.E. from the era of trade on the silk road.
Can’t avoid some contemporary art, I guess – here by Cy Twombly, a big name in contemporary art, but just as shitty here as in Munich.
Ai Weiwei also makes an appearance – shiny is good, I guess?
My favourite piece was this paravent from Japan.
Overall, it’s pretty amazing how many significant works of art they have amassed in a really short time (the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened just a little while ago).
Half of the artworks are loaners from the Louvre, but also some other French museums like the musée d’Orsay or the musée guimet (for which Abu Dhabi payed something like a couple hundred million dollars…), the other half was acquired by the museum within a few years. I guess another instance of “let’s see what we can do by throwing unlimited amounts of oil money at it”.
The roof structure is really cool, shading the galleries underneath it, but letting in some soft fuzzy light. The cafe has an outdoor terrace next to the water, where the heat was almost bearable in the shade for a few minutes.
Before leaving Abu Dhabi, some more random impressions:
A commitment to the dual style of toilet – note the western-style toilet paper on the right, combined with the middle eastern-style water hose on the left.
A shop window from the gold souk, a part of the mall next to my hotel with dozens of stores next to each other specialising in nothing but gold jewellery.
The huge supermarket in the mall is like a cross between a British supermarket, an Indian grocery store, and some filipino, Thai and Arabian sections. Like these vegetables, which I had previously only seen sold by vegetable sellers in India.
Or the fact that they sell western brands, but with a middle-eastern twist, like Sesame Snickers, or Nescafe with Cardamom flavour. And yes, Durians are available, too!