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Birth of a Museum: Louvre Abu Dhabi photo reportage / Abu Dhabi

Flash Art presents a sneak peek of the first universal museum in the Arab world.

The much anticipated exhibition, “Birth of a Museum,” opened on April 22, 2013 in the galleries of Manarat Al Saadiyat – the exhibition centre on Saadiyat island where the Louvre Abu Dhabi is currently under construction. Following the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first exhibition “Talking Art” (2009), this is the first large-scale presentation of a selection of the museum’s permanent collection. Divided into 10 thematic sections, on display are 130 of the 460 artworks already acquired. Spanning millennia and presenting a comparative, cross-cultural approach to art history, the works range from a late third millennium BCE Bactrian princess to contemporary paintings by Cy Twombly.

Following a number of delays and setbacks with the museum’s construction, the exhibition gives the viewer a hint of what is being created prior to the museum’s actual opening in 2015. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the construction of the building began in 2009 and was initially expected to open in 2012. HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, says the exhibition aims “to evoke the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ambiance and aesthetics, and to begin to tell the story of the birth of this museum.”

The exhibition runs from April 22 – 20 July 2013 in Abu Dhabi and will then be presented at the Louvre Paris in October 2013.