Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri, chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee, claimed officials from the Paris museum’s management were investigating the omission at the Louvre Abu Dhabi because they were concerned about the “political exploitation” of art and culture and potential damage to the integrity of the Louvre.
But while a spokesman for the world-famous museum confirmed Al-Marri had visited the Louvre in Paris along with the Qatari ambassador, there was no truth in the assertion that any investigation had been opened.
“The Musee du Louvre formally denies having opened an investigation,” said a statement from the Paris museum sent to Arab News.
The visit by the ambassador Khalid bin Rashid Al-Mansouri and Al-Marri on Feb. 5 was arranged at the request of the Qatari embassy in Paris.
The statement went on: “The question of a map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi children’s museum, on which Qatar did not appear was discussed. During this meeting, representatives of the Louvre reiterated the fact this was a simple technical incident, attributable to a subcontractor who worked in urgency, only a few days before the opening. It was an involuntary negligence and in no way intentional.
“The Louvre also reminded its Qatari interlocutors that this was the only map, among numerous others on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, on which Qatar did not appear.
“Working closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi teams, the map was changed immediately, 15 days ago, as soon as the incident was discovered.”
Al-Marri made his claims to Al-Sharq, a pro-government daily newspaper published in Doha, in which he accused the UAE of seeking to “exploit culture and put it into political conflicts.”