Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates two years of art
But missing from the party is Leonardo da Vinci’s priceless painting ‘Salvator Mundi’
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Visitors stroll through the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Photo: AFP / Karim Sahib
It cost more than US$600 million to build and now the Louvre Abu Dhabi is officially two years old.
Approximately 24,000 square meters, or 260,000 sq feet in size, it is the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula.
But what is missing from a stunning collection is the world’s most expensive painting, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which was due to go on show in September 2018.
The priceless artwork not been seen in public since it was sold at Christie’s auction in 2017.
Asked whether or not the piece would go on display in the coming year, museum head Manuel Rabate said it was “a question for the city,” referring to authorities in the United Arab Emirates. The Department of Culture and Tourism later declined to comment.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened with about 600 pieces, including items from early Mesopotamia.
Under a 30-year agreement, France provides expertise, lends works of art and organizes exhibitions in return for 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion).
So far, the venue has welcomed around two million visitors since it opened.
“This shows that we have found our place in Abu Dhabi and in Emirati society,” Rabate said.
– additional reporting AFP