When does a museum manage to arouse almost childlike amazement and well-being of all its senses? A visit to a museum - often enough just a holiday emergency solution for rainy days - suddenly and unexpectedly turns into an event of a special kind and leaves you speechless more than once. Many reasons make a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi an unconditional must.
Abu Dhabi indulges in a whole cultural island called Saadiyat. Located directly on the shores of the Persian Gulf, in the heat of the Arab country the museum is surrounded by deep blue water. The bright yellow of the nearby desert sections contrasts perfectly with the blue of the sea and the white and silver of the museum. Sometime in the near future, a Guggenheim Museum and a National Museum will be added to the island in the immediate vicinity. But this does not matter when you sit in the Louvre, which opened in November 2017, here and now to relax on one of the stairs, where the waves break down while you enjoy this unique moment.
Jean Nouvel has created a masterpiece that more than lives up to his claim to combine modernity and locality. Under a silver dome roof with a span of 180 meters spread 50 white boxes, which are connected with each other as an exhibition space and stylize an Arabic medina in structure and atmosphere. The cool objectivity of the building is both inside and out pure aesthetics and a real counterpoint to the shimmering heat of Arabia. As it should be in a good museum, the minimalism of the building puts the exhibits in the spotlight. Already it is clear that Jean Nouvel does not need to shy away from the future comparison with the neighboring museum buildings of Norman Foster and Frank Gehry.
Thoughtful concept and remarkable art collection.
This museum offers a very special world trip through human history. Starting around 3000 BC, the collection extends to the modern age of the 21st century. Of course, the works of renowned artists can not be missing - Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Rene Magritte, Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Piet Mondrian, Yves Klein, just to name a few. But regardless of these prestigious blockbusters (some acquired, some on loan), it is the overall concept that makes this museum stand out and deviate from anything traditionally offered by museums. From the first of 12 exhibition areas, the global historical art comparison dominates and that is exactly what makes the tension and balance. How did the theme of "mother and child" be portrayed several centuries before Christ in different ethical cultures on three different continents, without any connection or any form of exchange of experience - so different and yet so different. And that's exactly what surprises time and time again. Or the "Standing Woman II" by Alberto Giacometti, which appears so unique in its depiction, until you see next to a female statue from Papua New Guinea, whose basic idea is not so far away. Created almost simultaneously and in parallel, in a completely different world on the other side of the globe. This comparative principle - consistently pursued throughout human history and accompanied by a media explanation at the beginning of each thematic block and epoch - makes up a large part of the fascination. Beneficial also the equally consistent implementation of "less is more". Exactly the right exhibits to the right art era in the right number - not too little, not too much. It's easy, yes, it even makes you curious to learn more about us as humans and to understand a whole new world of things.
Meeting place of cultures.
The special flair of the museum is also due to the intercultural mix of visitors. A melting pot of the countries of this earth in a special place, connected by their curiosity and their love for the beautiful. Europeans, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, South Americans and, of course, Arabs - women and men in black and white robes. Together they stroll through the rooms and realize how parallel the human being, the first settlements, the big empires, the religions, the trade routes and the art developed. Everybody has to realize that there is much more that connects us humans than separates us.
Louvre Abu Dhabi - polarity and vision are already in the name.
On the one hand there is the "Louvre" as the epitome of tradition and convention in the historic center of the Old World. And on the other hand "Abu Dhabi" as a symbol of the departure into the modern age and the unlimited financial possibilities par excellence. But that is only an apparent contradiction, because the Museum "Louvre Abu Dhabi" shows that this fusion is meaningful, aesthetically and absolutely enriching possible and thus achieves exactly the one or the focus of a museum, the human being, the visitors. And this person, no matter where he comes from in this world, just stands there and is happy and enjoys and feels well and amazed. Like a child.