The Sunday Guardian - - Society -

his must be what it’s like to walk around in­side the Death Star,” I said to my friend as we strolled around the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi, a land­mark for both art and ar­chi­tec­ture which opened to the pub­lic on 11 Novem­ber.

Imag­ined as a “mu­seum city” by ar­chi­tect Jean Nou­vel – a col­lec­tion of more than 50 build­ings, in­clud­ing 23 gal­leries hold­ing 600 works of art – its stark, white walls are bor­dered by la­goons, with most struc­tures housed be­neath a vast domed roof.

A deal be­tween Abu Dhabi and France will see the Lou­vre name leased for a pe­riod of 30 years (this isn’t an of­fi­cial Lou­vre fran­chise), with loans of high pro­file art­works from France’s ma­jor mu­se­ums fill­ing many of the walls as the new sib­ling fills its own col­lec­tion. The works on dis­play for its open­ing come from Paris greats as well as the Lou­vre it­self: the Musée d’Or­say, Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, Château de Ver­sailles, Musée Rodin, Musée Guimet and Musée du Quai Branly. Works have also been sourced from gal­leries out­side France – the Na­tional Mu­seum of Oman, for ex­am­ple.

So what are the high­lights? Well, the most pho­tographed art­work (photography with­out flash is al­lowed) ap­pears to be Jacques-Louis

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