In­side the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi.

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS - —James Louie

Dubai may hog the lime­light when it comes to ground-break­ing ar­chi­tec­ture in the United Arab Emi­rates, but the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal looks set to change that. The newly opened wa­ter­side mu­seum is Pritzker Prize–win­ner Jean Nou­vel’s con­tri­bu­tion to a landmark cul­tural district, boast­ing a 180-me­ter-di­am­e­ter dou­ble dome whose nearly 8,000 over­lap­ping metal stars mir­ror the geo­met­ric pat­terns of clas­si­cal Is­lamic art. This hov­ers over a “mu­seum city” of 55 white-walled cu­bic pavil­ions that take in the en­tire scope of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion, with pre­cious ar­ti­facts rang­ing from a two-headed Ne­olithic statue found in Jor­dan and a 10th-cen­tury South In­dian bronze Shiva, to Re­nais­sance pieces, Ja­panese nam­ban fold­ing screens, and paint­ings by Piet Mon­drian and Jack­son Pol­lock. Half of the 600 art­works on dis­play are on loan from ma­jor French in­sti­tu­tions like the Musée d’Or­say, the Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, and of course, the Lou­vre, which will take charge of cu­ra­to­rial lead­er­ship at its Emi­rati out­post for the next 15 years ( lou­vre­abud­

The Lou­vre Abu Dhabi’s dome rises above Walk­ing Man, On a Col­umn, a bronze sculp­ture of Auguste Rodin by Fon­derie Cou­bertins.

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