ABU DHABI // More than 122,000 people from around the world have visited the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection on display in Paris.
The announcement comes just days before the Birth of a Museum exhibition at the Louvre in Paris is due to close on Monday, state news agency Wam reported.
French president, Francois Hollande, and Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), opened the exhibit on April 28.
The exhibit displays more than 160 works of art, including a gold bracelet made in Iran that is almost 3,000 years old and a gold brooch with garnets made in fifth-century Italy.
Also displayed is a previously unseen papier colle by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, as well as piece by Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens, French painter Edouard Manet and Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte.
Birth of a Museum also has on show nine paintings by the American painter Cy Twombly.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the Middle East’s first universal museum and is scheduled to open in December next year on the Saadiyat Island cultural district, along with the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Khalid Abdulkhaliq Abdulla, associate curator at TCA, and Vincent Pomarede of the Louvre organised the Birth of a Museum exhibit.
Museum events included a talk by Mr Abdulla and Hissa Al Dhaheri, museum project manager at TCA, about the exhibition on May 5 attended by more than 400 people.
A symposium on June 18, “Louvre Abu Dhabi: For a Global History of Art” included talks on a global-thinking approach to art history and discussion of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project. Francois Jullien, an expert in Chinese studies, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, an Indian historian, took part.
A 2007 agreement between the governments of France and Abu Dhabi launched the Louvre Abu Dhabi project.
The project is billed as a universal museum with archaeological, fine arts and decorative arts pieces on display from all regions and periods.
A previous Birth of a Museum exhibit took place last year at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
This year’s exhibit is the first time pieces from the Louvre Abu Dhabi collection have been shown in Paris.