In March of this year, the French government and the Louvre have agreed upon a $1.3 billion deal to conduct a 30-years loan to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. This ‘permanent’ loan consists of 300 works of the Louvre and other French museums such as the Musee d’Orsay and Versailles. The French government will receive $512 million for the use of the Louvre brand, plus a gift of $33 million to renovate a wing of the museum. $750 million will be spend on the care of the collection and staff itself. A part of the funding will also be spend on the restoration of other cultural venues in France. This organisation will be managed by a new International Agency of French Museums. The government of France sees this agreement as the beginning of a good foundation between France and the Gulf Arab region. They feel that this ‘noble’ venture represents the globalization of French culture, and does not weaken France’s cultural policy or its museums. Opponents of the ‘Louvre Abu Dhabi’ state that the government is ‘selling’ their heritage against all ethical codes. The public collection will be put into a more private museum. They note that this new museum in Abu Dhabi is not based on research or increasing understanding, and that the deal is not founded on cultural benefits, but only on economical reasons. The aspect of cultural value against the tourist industry is addressed many times. Also, the representation and display of human figures and nudity could form an obstruction within the development of the exhibition.
Official site of the Louvre, which contains relevant information concerning museum policies.
'La Tribune de l'Art', founded by art historian and opponent of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Didier Rykner. The website constains several articles and the petition against the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Website of the French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres
Article by Gareth Harris, “Louvre curators condemn ‘collectors for rent’ schemes”, February 15 2007, elaborating on the business development of the director of the Louvre, Mr. Henri Loyrette.
Article by Molly Moore, “Plans for 'Desert Louvre' Provoke Outrage in France”, March 11 2007, summarizing the different views on the plans.
Article by Angelique Chrisafis, “The race for art island: Louvre and Guggenheim battle it out”, November 22 2006, analyzing the political, economical and cultural reasons of the different parties.
Article by Mohamed Kadry, “Mona Lisa moving to Louvre Abu Dhabi?”, June 30 2007, emphasizing on the acquisition of the ‘French’ collection of the Louvre.
Article by Jonathan Bronitsky, “For Their Eyes Only”, March 26 2007, criticizing the opponents of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
“Abu Dhabi and French Governments in historic cultural accord”, March 3 2007, article written from the point of view of the United Arab Emirates.