Abu Dhabi

Video: World flocks to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Anjana Sankar /Abu Dhabi
anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 11, 2017 | Last updated on November 11, 2017 at 05.12 pm
Video: World flocks to Louvre Abu Dhabi

(Ryan Lim)

Many tourists have flown down to the UAE capital on November 11, to have a Louvre experience on Day1 of the public opening.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has stirred the cultural curiosity of art lovers from around the world. Many tourists have flown down to the UAE capital on November 11, to have a Louvre experience on Day1 of the public opening.
Swiss couple, Eric Kalbermatten and Ingrid Sordi came all the way from Geneva to Abu Dhabi for just one day - for the Louvre opening.

"We arrived today from Geneva. We landed in Dubai and took a car and drove straight to Abu Dhabi to be here for the opening at 10am," said Kalbermatten, who is a financial administrator at a hospital in Lausanne.

"We are staying here only for a day, then we go to Ajman. We planned the visit like that," said Sordi who also works in a hospital.

On their first visit to the emirate, the couple said they have never been to a museum opening before. "This visit could have been next week, but that is not special. We wanted to soak in the ambience, see the opening exhibitions and entertainment shows."

Their first impression of Louvre Abu Dhabi? "It is truly different. Because in Paris, it is an old building with a Pyramid. It is not modern at all. The architecture of Louvre Abu Dhabi is very impressive. The museum is not too crowded like the Paris museum. We loved it," said Kalbermatten.

Sordi felt the galleries are a bit empty as "there is plenty of place to put more things."

"But this is a good beginning. It is very cold inside. We are jetlagged and tired. So, we decided to take a lunch break and continue again."

Waxing eloquent on the 'Rain of Light' effect of the museum's latticed Dome, the couple said there is no words to describe it. "It is just Wow!"

Canadian friends, Bronwyn Lang and Mary Spec - both from Vancouver - are travel buddies who have explored the world quite a bit. Louvre Abu Dhabi is the duo's latest adventure in their friendship that goes back to four decades. They flew down all the way from Canada to see Louvre on the first day itself.

"It is absolutely amazing. Better than we expected. We have been to museums in Paris, Russia, London, Canada in New York. We are quite old (laughs)," said Spec whose daughter works in Abu Dhabi.

"We took a tour of the galleries for 45 minutes. Now we are going to do it again in our own pace," she added.

Lang said she was blown away by the architectural marvel. "With Jean Nouvel making it. it is fabulous. And what is in it even more better. The way it has played out all the cultures in a time frame, is just beautiful. It is a wonderful modern idea."

Nouvel wanted to combine the elements of light and water.. and he got it just right. When you walk through, you feel, the temperature is perfect with the breeze coming from the sea, because there is no air-conditioning. Then there are birds singing."

"I would recommend this to everybody. It is well-recognised. We had a 45-minute tour. Now we are going to do again in our own pace," said Spec.

Dr. Mazem Mustafa has come from Palestine to visit the Arab world's first Universal museum. A professor of Cultural Studies at Birzeit University, Mustafa has given his verdict on Louvre. "I am very pleased. There is nothing like this in the whole Arab world."

"The architecture, the design, lights, the size, height of the ceiling - all minute aspects has been well designed. And what strikes me is they have kept in mind all the design shortcomings in Museums in Europe and tried to improvise on it."

Mustafa said the Louvre Abu Dhabi that tells the story of civilization is a timely cultural gift to the young generation that sees the world through social media. "To go and visit a museum and see it with naked eyes will be a new experience to the new generation."


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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