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Abu Dhabi Travel Guide

Abu Dhabi to Get its Own Louvre

Posted: Apr. 24th, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Abu Dhabi Louvre model
Photo Courtesy of Mail Movement

Officials in Abu Dhabi have actually signed a deal with the Louvre in Paris to use the site's name for a new art museum in the thriving UAE city. While it'll definitely be intriguing to visit a Louvre in Abu Dhabi, many are frowning on the deal as they are upset at the seeming "selling out" of the original Louvre.

The Louvre in Paris may be a one-and-only in the world, but no longer just by name.

With hopes to open in 2015, Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first "universal" (sometimes called "encyclopedic") museum in the Arab world, planted on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi's high-end cultural center, in the United Arab Emirates.

So in some ways, it's going to be something of a Louvre franchise in the Middle East.

OK, so a franchise isn't the correct term, but the idea is similar. In 2007, the governments of France and the UAE shook on a deal of long-term diplomatic agreement. With that came the notion of LAD, which paid $525 million U.S. dollars to use the name and be associated with the Louvre, plus another $747 million for "art loans, special exhibitions and management advice," according to Wikipedia.

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