Abu Dhabi Louvre

The Abu Dhabi Louvre is one of the museums opened on Saadiyat Island, which is connected by bridge to the city of Abu Dhabi.

In 2007, the French government announced that it would rent art, expertise, and the name "Louvre" to a new museum to be built in Abu Dhabi. The artworks and expertise will come from the Louvre and other famous Paris museums, such as the Orsay. The "rental" period will be 30 years. During the "rental" period, Abu Dhabi will be building its own collection. After the "rental" period, Abu Dhabi Louvre will adopt its own name.

As can be imagined, the deal was controversial in France. Some considered the arrangement a chance for East to meet West, and an opportunity to promote intercultural dialogue. Others worried about censorship, security, and the integrity of national collections, and decry the selling out of France's national heritage. A former director of the Picasso Museum called it "truly the act of death of the public museum such as we knew it."

So when you're in Abu Dhabi, come see some spectacular art ... and maybe see what the fuss was all about.

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