Young at art: Thousands of pupils enjoy special Louvre Abu Dhabi tour

Children let their creativity roam free as part of initiative to encourage young people to connect with culture

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Thousands of schoolchildren swapped the classroom for a museum, in a Louvre Abu Dhabi initiative that aimed to help them connect with culture.

The capital's landmark museum is typically closed on Mondays, but it was opened specially this week for young learners with a love of art.

More than 2,600 children aged between eight and 15 from schools in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai let their creativity roam free as they explored an array of exhibits, discussing paintings and statues, and even going on a scavenger hunt.

The special day was part of a drive by Louvre Abu Dhabi to encourage the next generation to embrace the arts.

“It was an incredible experience. It was rewarding. It was busy,” said Maral Jule Bedoyan, education and learning resources manager at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“Pupils require space to express themselves and we wanted to make them feel extra special and to set the stage or the museum as a platform for learning and engaging. This way, they're navigating the museum on their own with their teachers.

“They really feel like they are part of the museum. When we say a takeover, it's a true takeover. They [the pupils] are inside the main galleries, the international exhibition, they are under the dome, and in the Children's Museum.

“What we wanted to do was to give a taster of the different ways of engaging with art.”

Children also participated in creative discussions and workshop-based activities.

As part of the museum takeover, pupils went on a scavenger hunt, took part in a drum circle and had a meditation session.

With school life now back in full swing after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a field trip ro relish for inquisitive pupils.

Bringing learning to life

Rawdah Al Ahmed, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Lycee Louis Massignon, is an art buff and was excited to participate in the scavenger hunt and see a wide variety of art.

“I discovered a few things about Egypt and I'm excited about exploring more about the UAE here,” she said.

“It feels really nice to just to be able to go out with our classmates and our teachers again, and to be discovering new places here in Abu Dhabi since we could not do that online.

“I feel like it expands our point of view on what we learn in textbooks.”

Manya Sabhani, an eighth grader at Raha International School, said she most enjoyed the Impressionism exhibit.

“I enjoyed it because it is something that we're learning about at school. I got to analyse the art in front of my eyes,” she said.

The pupil said seeing Claude Monet’s work was a high point for her.

“He faced a lot of critique and criticism on his art, and yet he still continued making it and now it's a complete movement. I find that very inspiring,” she said.

“I got to see many paintings of the same kind side by side so I can compare and I was able to notice the movement of the paint or maybe the texture.”

She said it was exciting to discuss art with the people around her.

“I got to interact with pupils a few other schools. So when we were sitting together and looking at the art, all of us had different points of views,” she said.

Anthony Tohme, 11, a pupil at Lycee Francais International de l’AFLEC, said he was excited to broaden his knowledge about art.

“It’s my first time at the Louvre and I'm excited to learn new things. The last time I went out for a school field trip was three years ago,” he said.

Updated: December 07, 2022, 6:27 AM