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France - Emirates

300 French masterpieces to travel to Louvre Abu Dhabi

French architect Jean Nouvel and his model of  the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
French architect Jean Nouvel and his model of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Reuters

300 French masterpieces are set to travel to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the UAE.  The loan includes masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol...

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"This will be the first time many of these works travel to Abu Dhabi or even the Middle East, and it's a rare opportunity to see important art from French museums", said Sultan bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, chairman of the organisation behind the project. 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi - which was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel - is due to open in 2015 with paintings and sculptures from France's most renowned collections.

The Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Château de Versailles and other renowned French museums will loan art to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a 30-year collaboration with the Emirate worth one billion euros.

Loans include da Vinci's Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Claude Monet's Saint-Lazare Station,  Andy Warhol's Big Electric Chair as well as some artworks from Antiquity such as a 4,000-year-old statue of Mesopotamian ruler Gudea or a figurine of King Ramses II from Egypt's 19th dynasty.

Masterpieces will be displayed in the Louvre Abu Dhabi for up to two years and will decrease as the Louvre Abu Dhabi builds its own collection. 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a 64,000-square-metre museum built  - at a cost of 500 million euros - on the island of Saadiyat and it will display permanent installations over 6,000-square-metre while 2,000 will be dedicated to temporary exhibitions. 

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