It is not just a spectacular building, but a treasure house of art arranged in a radical, intercultural manner
It has been ten years in the making, but now the first universal museum in the Arab world is opening to the public on 11 November. Louvre Abu Dhabi does not disappoint; it will surely join the very short list of buildings, including the Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Bilbao, that have worldwide recognition. The Art Newspaper talked with the museum's architect, Jean Nouvel, who says that he has wanted to create somewhere that would be a meeting place for people, between people and works of art, and between the works of art themselves. Jean-François Charnier, its Scientific Director, has taken the idea of cultural meeting further and says that Louvre Abu Dhabi has rethought the ideas behind a classic art museum to present works in such a way as to emphasise what is common to mankind. For Jean-Luc Martinez, the director of the Louvre in Paris, this is quite simply the most important cultural project for France in this century and it has already begun to change how it its curators regard their public.