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LOUVRE ABU DHABI: A Universal Museum

Louvre Abu Dhabi, a truly universal museum, is a marvelous construction where art and architecture meets science and engineering to create a unique space that unites cultures.

One of the things I love about Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, is that this place represents a universal multicultural center that unites people from a large variety of cultures and religions. The UAE is a perfect example of a mixed population living harmoniously together in this multicultural center of the Middle East that everyone living here calls home. This idea of universality that we encounter all over the UAE is also reflected in the design of Louvre Abu Dhabi. Having the galleries organized in chronological order, from Ancient Times to Modern Times, makes it easy for the visitor to experience the similarities, at each point in time, between different cultures across the globe.

The ‘rain of light’ at Louvre Abu Dhabi

The special architecture of this universal museum, with its city-like design and a dome that appears to be floating, turns Louvre Abu Dhabi itself into one giant work of art. Though it appears to float, the dome structure comprises of eight layers, weighing a total of about 7,500 tonnes. The unique arrangement of the eight layers of the dome, with their repeating pattern, creates the stars of Louvre Abu Dhabi. During the day, the sun shines through the 7,850 unique stars giving birth to a rain of light (picture below), and during the night, when the dome is lit, you can admire from afar the beautiful shining stars of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The ‘rain of light’ at Louvre Abu Dhabi

United through culture in a universal museum

Walking through the different galleries of Louvre Abu Dhabi, you get the chance to experience art and culture from around the world in chronological order. This way, you are exposed to the evolution of art from various parts of the world. At the same time, you can see for yourself how, from prehistory to present, cultures from around the world are bound by similar creative ideas. So instead of building boundaries between countries and cultures, maybe we should be searching for similarities between different cultures. We would all benefit a lot more if we learned how to appreciate the connections we share with one another as a human race.

Whistler’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler, Ai Weiwei‘s Fountain of Light, The Cock by Constantin Brancusi

The other “stars” of Louvre Abu Dhabi are, of course, the works of art that are showcased in this universal museum. Here, I’m only showing three of the beautiful artworks on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi, but there are so many more to explore and admire in all the museum galleries. First, there’s Whistler’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler (top left picture), which I absolutely had to share as a Heritage Scientist who has seen the 1997 movie Bean, where the painting gets damaged and turns into a different kind of art. Then, there’s Ai Weiwei‘s Fountain of Light (bottom left picture), with its 32,400 crystals inviting us to “see humanity in a new light”. And last, but not least, there’s The Cock (picture on the right) by Constantin Brancusi. Being Romanian, I was thrilled to see one of Brancusi’s sculptures on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi, and had to share it with the world.

If you’re ever in this region, I recommend you take some time to visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi to learn about the similarities between cultures from past to present and take some time to experience Abu Dhabi where you can also be immersed into a multicultural environment.


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