Louvre Abu Dhabi unveils first artefacts on loan from the Philippines

A cup and funerary mask from the Philippines will be on show until next year

The funerary mask from Butuan City on display in Louvre Abu Dhabi. Photo: Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi
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Louvre Abu Dhabi has unveiled two new loans of items from the Ayala Museum in the Philippines.

The artefacts are the first pieces from the South-East Asian country to go on show at the Saadiyat Island museum.

On show until June next year, the Ayala Museum's loans include a gold cup, dated between 900 and 1200 AD, and a funerary mask from the same period.

A gold cup from Nabua in the Camarines Sur province in the Philippines. Photo: Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi

The cup was recovered from Nabua in the Camarines Sur province. According to Louvre Abu Dhabi, the piece "highlights the striking similarity of Filipino works with the Chinese gold and silverwares acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2019 — allowing for the development of geographical coverage from the topic of precious metal trades in the galleries, including Chinese and Islamic connection as well as South-East Asia".

The funerary mask (900-1200AD) was recovered in Butuan City, in the region of Caraga. The museum says the piece "places emphasis on immortality being the universal hope of mankind when faced with death. This artefact is currently showcased alongside others from the Levant and South America that exemplify this shared tradition."

The two new loans "represent Louvre Abu Dhabi’s mission of celebrating the universal creativity of mankind — inviting audiences to see humanity in a new light", a statement by the museum said.

The Ayala Museum is in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and houses objects showcasing Philippine art and culture.

This year, Louvre Abu Dhabi is celebrating its fifth anniversary, having opened in November 2017. The new pieces have been added to the museum's collection as part of anniversary celebrations.

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Updated: June 29, 2022, 10:24 AM