Openings Museums United Arab Emirates

New team leads next stage of Louvre satellite

Organisation responsible for managing Saadiyat Island museum appoints new head

Impression of the dome’s interior

The creation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi has stepped up a gear with the appointment of a new head of the Agence France-Muséums, the organisation responsible for managing the Saadiyat Island satellite of the Paris museum.

Our sister paper Le Journal des Arts reports that the agency’s new chief executive, Manuel Rabaté, “will act quickly” to organise a team that will regularly visit Abu Dhabi. The institutions that will lend works to the museum will be represented: the Musée Rodin, Musée d’Orsay, L’Oran­gerie, Musée du Quai Branly, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Centre Pompidou, Musée de Cluny and the Louvre. In addition, a representative of the agency will move to the Gulf.

In February, a letter expressing dissatisfaction in the emirate with the way its French partners had been managing the project was leaked.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Jean-Nouvel designed Louvre Abu Dhabi building was unaffected by a fight between Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers in a Saadiyat Island accommodation centre, says a spokesman for TDIC, the Abu Dhabi development company. The spokesman says that media reports that work on the museum was interrupted in August were inaccurate. He says the fight started as a minor dispute between two workers that escalated. Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers are now housed in separate accommodation, he says.

The spokesman revealed that the four pillars upon which the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s massive, 180m-diameter dome will rest are almost complete.

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