Never seen before artwork at Louvre Abu Dhabi show

Updated 05 February 2013
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Never seen before artwork at Louvre Abu Dhabi show

Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its next exhibition ‘Birth of a Museum’ on April 22 that will run until July 20 on Saadiyat Island showcasing important works of art from the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection, some of which have never been seen or revealed before.
Almost 130 artworks will be shown in Manarat Al-Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District’s art and exhibition center, and will give visitors insight into the museum’s narrative and collection ahead of its opening in 2015.
Born of an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display art, manuscripts and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance. The museum and its growing permanent collection is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Spanning millennia, the items on display will originate from societies and cultures all over the world, but universal themes and common influences will be highlighted to illustrate similarities arising from shared human experience transcending geography, nationality and history.
Like the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the exhibition proposes a singular and original rereading of the history of art and is built around several key artistic and aesthetic questions core to the identity of the new museum: Universalism, the comparison between artworks from great civilizations from the most ancient times to the contemporary and the multidisciplinary nature of artistic creation. It will also explore the status of the work of art, through universal themes in the exhibition.
Another milestone for the museum’s ongoing cultural program is the second Louvre Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series, (running monthly until the June 26, 2013), a rich program of public events which explore the significance of individual art works both in art historical terms and in the context of the museum’s growing collection, which began in October 2012.
This is supported by an expanding education program with school and University students throughout the United Arab Emirates.
Birth of a Museum is the thirteenth exhibition held prior to the opening of the Saadiyat Cultural District museums. Exhibitions are now at Manarat Al-Saadiyat, the art exhibition center on Saadiyat Island which has been open since 2009. The general curator of the exhibition is Laurence des Cars, Curatorial Director of Agence France-Muséums (AFM), who is supported by a TCA Abu Dhabi and AFM team of diversified skill sets. Museography is done by architect Jean-François Bodin.


Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artifacts

Updated 24 April 2018
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Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artifacts

  • The artifacts were plundered by British troops from the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II 150 years ago
  • Among the items on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum are sacred manuscripts and gold 

ADDIS ABABA: Britain must permanently return all artifacts from Ethiopia held by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Addis Ababa will not accept them on loan, an Ethiopian government official said.
The call comes after the museum, one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, put Ethiopian treasures plundered by British forces on display.
“Well, it would be exciting if the items held at the V&A could be part of a long-term loan with a cultural institution in Ethiopia,” museum director Tristram Hunt said.
“These items have never been on a long-term loan in Ethiopia, but as we look to the future I think what we’re interested in are partnerships around conservation, interpretation, heritage management, and these need to be supported by government assistance so that institutions like the V&A can support sister institutions in Ethiopia.”
Among the items on display are sacred manuscripts and gold taken from the Battle of Maqdala 150 years ago, when British troops ransacked the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II.
The offer of a loan did not go far enough for Ethiopia.
“What we have asked (for) was the restitution of our heritage, our Maqdala heritage, looted from Maqdala 150 years ago. We presented our request in 2007 and we are waiting for it,” said government minister Hirut Woldemariam said.
Ephrem Amare, Ethiopian National Museum director, added: “It is clearly known where these treasures came from and whom they belong to. Our main demand has never been to borrow them. Ethiopia’s demand has always been the restoration of those illegally looted treasures. Not to borrow them.”
The V&A could not immediately be reached for further comment on Monday.
In launching the Maqdala 1868 exhibition of what Hunt called “stunning pieces with a complex history” this month, he said the display had been organized in consultation with the Ethiopian community in London.
“As custodians of these Ethiopian treasures, we have a responsibility to celebrate the beauty of their craftsmanship, shine a light on their cultural and religious significance and reflect on their living meaning, while being open about how they came to Britain,” he said in a blog on the museum website.