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A Museum on Water

Designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a dome-shaped museum seemingly floating on the sea.

The dome’s weaving web pattern filters the sun allowing a visual effect of a ‘rain of light’. The shading effect makes it a tranquil place to sit to relax away from the hot Abu Dhabi sun.

The museum tells the story of humanity in distinct chapters. The first hall is very spacious, displaying similarities between various cultures.

Peru 100 BCE-700 CE
Philippines 900-1200 CE
Lebanon or Syria 600-300 BCE

An example of this is the ancient practice of covering the dead in gold funerary masks. It has captivated us for centuries. Could it be that its incorruptible nature offers a glimpse of eternal life? Or is it the glimmer of its luster that helps to ward off the darkness of death, symbolically preserving the light of life? Whatever the answer, it's clear this age-old tradition has left us with plenty to ponder.

The next hall showcases “The First Villages” of humanity with jars, clay pots, and weapons.

Egypt, 3600-3300 BCE
France, 22,000-18,000 BCE
Afghanistan, 2800 BCE

The hall of ‘The First Great Powers” displays objects from a time when the world was becoming more grand and sophisticated.

Cleopatra, r. 51-30 BCE
Augustus, r. 27 BCE-14 CE

The hall of 'Universal Religions' covers the spread of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Plaque from a stupa, India, 100-300 CE
Book cover showing Christ in majesty, 1190-1200 CE

Breaching the gap between Eastern and Western art, Louvre Abu Dhabi explores the shared ideas that have defined our common humanity since prehistory.


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