(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Louvre Abu Dhabi is not just a museum. It is an artwork in itself, and the cultural world had waited with bated breath for the moment when the masterpiece would be unveiled to the world.
The 10-year long anticipation came to an end on Tuesday when the museum took journalists from around the world on an exclusive preview tour inside the Louvre, the Arab world's first universal museum. The museum will be official inaugurated on November 8 and the public opening is scheduled for 11.
For a first-time visitor, the jaw-dropping movement is definitely the spectacular architecture of the museum itself. The grandeur, the awe-inspiring magnificence, the sheer size and scale of the 'rain of light' dome will have you gasping for breath.
I stayed rooted on my feet for a few minutes, as I stepped in along with a media battalion ahead of its official inauguration on November 8.
Walking through the galleries, displayed in 12 different chapters, is indeed a cultural as well as philosophical journey that reveals the interconnectivity of human civilizations.
The gallery space is designed to take visitors on a journey back in time, forming an inter-connected chain linking pre-historic times to the modern era.
Proceeding from one gallery to another, the visitor is made to feel as if he is engaging with civilizations. An engagement moderated by the 600-plus priceless artefacts that include a 800-400BC bronze structure of Egyptian Goddess Isis, a14th century Virgin and Child statue, a white marble head of Buddha dating back to 534-550CE from Chinas Eastern Wei Dynasty, a 11-12th century bronze statue of Lion de Mari-Cha from Andalusia, an oil on panel creation of Madonna and Child by Giovani Bellini, La Belle Ferronniere (woman portrait by Leonardo da Vinci and a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh dating back to 1887, to mention just a few.
What distinguishes Louvre Abu Dhabi from other museums of the world is its emphasis on similarities and not difference on cultures. The Louvre's message is cultures can seamlessly co-exist. How else will you explain the proximity of artefacts from Asia and the Mesopotamian jars in the same gallery? Even within the space of the same display case, there are artefacts that reveal the connectivity between cultures and civilizations.
The galleries, spanning 6,400 square metres, are divided into four wings Ancient World, Medieval Time, First Globalisation and Modern Time. The artefacts are displayed under 12 chapters, each chapter telling a particular phase in human history.
Video: Take a walk through the Louvre Abu Dhabi galleries
Video: First look of Louvre Abu Dhabi
In pictures: First glimpse at Louvre Abu Dhabi
PHOTOS: First glimpse at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Pictures by Ryan Lim/ Khaleej Times
- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes)
First glimpse at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Pictures by Anjana Sankar
- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes)
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.
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