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Lucrative Louvre Abu Dhabi contract extended to 2047

By RFI
Europe © Reuters/Satish Kumar
DEC 5, 2021 LISTEN
© Reuters/Satish Kumar

During French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the United Arab Emirates as part of his Gulf tour, the Elysée Palace announced that the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum's licence has been extended to 2047. 

On Friday, France's President Emmanuel Macron and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed agreed to extend the Louvre Abu Dhabi partnership agreement by 10 years. The French presidency described the Louvre Abu Dhabi as "a vector of French influence abroad."

The move will see Abu Dhabi pay €165 million between 2022 and 2023 for the extension, said French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot, who signed the deal.

In exchange, the Louvre has agreed to lend four of its works, the details of which were not provided.

"It was very important to extend (the agreement) over the long term as the Louvre Abu Dhabi is absolutely magnificent and sparks wonder in all who visit it," Bachelot said.

The announcement came during Macron's two-day Gulf tour which also included Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated with great pomp in November 2017 – nearly five years behind schedule. The art collection is housed in a spectacular museum that was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

The 30-year agreement stipulates that France provide expertise, lend artworks and organise exhibitions, in return for €1 billion.

The museum also exhibits a collection that was acquired by the Abu Dhabi authorities.

The museum attracted some two million visitors during its first two years of operation. It was then forced to close for 100 days in early 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(with AFP)

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