Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Jean Nouve designed the museum under a large silvery dome made of almost 8,000 metal stars laid out in a geometric pattern. Visitors walk through paths that overlook the sea below the museum. The sunlight that filters through creates a moving “rain of light” beneath the dome.
Visitors will begin their journey in the “Great Vestibule” where works from different geographical territories convey similar themes through different modes of expression. This theme is carried throughout the museum.
The museum will display artifacts and loans from France’s top museums spanning from prehistorical objects to modern works. Objects from the earliest empires include Bactrian Princess created in Central Asia at the end of the third millennium B.C., funerary practices of ancient Egypt illustrated by set sarcophagi of Princess Henuttawy, and the creation of new economies with a Decadrachm coin of Syracuse signed by the artist Euainetos.
On show will also be a monumental work by contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and his questioning of globalization.
There are also Western works on display including a chest of drawers made in Red Chinese lacquer by Bernard II Van Risenburgh. which was created in France, Edouard Manet’s the Gypsy, Paul Gauguin’s Children Wrestling, and Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black.
American artist Jenny Holzer has created three engraved stone walls named for Louvre Abu Dhabi and is one of the museum’s first site-specific works installed in the outdoor areas. Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has also produced several works specifically for the museum.
Tickets for the museum will cost 60 AED (approximately $16) for general admission and 30 AED (approximately $8) for ages between 13 and 22, as well as UAE education professionals. Free entry will apply to members of the museum’s loyalty program, children under 13, ICOM (International Council of Museums) or ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) members, journalists, and visitors with special needs as well as a companion. In addition to the galleries, the museum will include exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique and a café.