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French PM visits Louvre Abu Dhabi to launch ‘Cultural Dialogue’ initiative

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks during his visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum in abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 10, 2018. (Reuters)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (L) meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan during a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on February 10, 2018, on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital, to launch the French-Emirati "Year of Cultural Dialogue". (AFP)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, left, claps as Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development approaches the podium for her speech, during his visit of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (AP)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (2nd L) tours the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on February 10, 2018, on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital, to launch the French-Emirati "Year of Cultural Dialogue". (AFP)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (2nd L) tours the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on February 10, 2018, on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital, to launch the French-Emirati "Year of Cultural Dialogue". (AFP)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (2nd L) tours the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum on February 10, 2018, on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital, to launch the French-Emirati "Year of Cultural Dialogue". (AFP)
DUBAI: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Saturday visited Abu Dhabi for the launch of the French-Emirati “Year of Cultural Dialogue” at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The project includes a six-month series of themed concerts and festivals that seek to encourage cultural exchange between the UAE and France.
The launch was held on Saturday and was attended by the French prime minister, Noura Al-Kaabi, the UAE’s minister of culture and knowledge development, and Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE’s minister of state.
The initiative will run from February to July and builds on the "Emirati-French Cultural Program," which was announced in 2016.
This year, the Emirati-French Cultural Program will shed light on artificial intelligence and protecting endangered cultural heritage.
After a decade of expectation, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public in November and has since been visited by a number of international dignitaries, including French President Emmanuel Macron, the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and the UK's Prince Andrew, duke of York, and Princess Beatrice of York among others. 
For the next 10 years, 13 of France’s top museums will lend works to the UAE at their discretion and for a maximum of two years each.
The museum currently has hundreds of pieces on loan, including an 1887 self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronniere.”

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