An illuminated manuscript, Book of Hours (Use of Sarum), from Belgium, dated around 1450-75. Courtesy the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the long awaited new museum due to open on Saadiyat Island later this year, has announced a raft of new acquisitions, ranging from an ancient Egyptian funeral set to a 20th-century painting by Wifredo Lam.
The works bolster the museum’s collection of more than 600 works; the Lam piece, entitled The Carabean Parade (1945), shows a mass of bizarre Surrealist figures. The intricate wooden Egyptian set relates to the princess Henuttawy (late tenth century BC).
“These works, which originate from different civilisations, will help bring to life the long story of humankind, from pre-history up to the contemporary,” says HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “Through these works and acquisitions, Louvre Abu Dhabi is set to become a living museum, a flagship centre that will welcome the world and inspire cross-cultural dialogue and exchange.”
Other new acquisitions include a pair of Namban screens with maps of the world and Japan (around 1690); a turban helmet (Aq-Qoyunlu or Ottoman, 15th century); and a Belgian illuminated manuscript, Book of Hours (Use of Sarum, around 1450).
In 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates signed an unprecedented agreement to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The new museum will encompass 6,400 sq. m of galleries for permanent display and 2,000 sq. m for temporary exhibitions. According to the New York Times, the opening show will focus on the history of the Louvre. Twelve other French institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, have agreed to contribute loans over a 10-year period.