سيتم افتتاح فرع من متحف اللوفر الفرنسي في أبوظبي وسيكون من تصميم الفرنسي "جان نوفيل" بعد احتجاجات وانقسامات في الشارع الفرنسي على ان اللوفر هو حضارة و تراث الامة الفرنسية ولا يجوز عرضه للبيع
و قد تم سابقا في العام الماضي التعاقد مع "فرانك كيري" لتصميم متحف غوغنهام في العاصمة الاماراتية، اليكم المقال:
duggmirror.comBy ALAN RIDING
Published: January 13, 2007
PARIS, Jan. 12 — After months of rumors and a week of protests, the French government has finally confirmed that in exchange for a sum said to be $800 million to $1 billion, it will rent the name, art treasures and expertise of the Louvre to a new museum to be built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
A formal agreement is expected to be signed later this month, with the new “Louvre” — one of five museums planned for a multibillion-dollar tourist development on Saadiyat Island, off Abu Dhabi — to open in 2012.
Critics of the plan — some 2,400 signers of a petition accusing France of “selling its soul” in hopes of scuttling the deal — have been dismissed as “grumpy spirits” by the French culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. The decision, he said, has been made.
Such is the power of the French government. It owns most major French museums and, by all accounts, President Jacques Chirac has concluded that this is one global market where France can compete effectively. On matters of state, the Louvre’s opinion, reportedly unenthusiastic in this case, carries little weight.
So, in one fell swoop, France has changed direction and is heading down a path it once disdained, a path pioneered in the 1990s by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which has satellites in Venice, Berlin and Bilbao, Spain, and is planning another, also in Abu Dhabi, to be designed by Frank Gehry.
But the French operation in the United Arab Emirates is to be far more lucrative than anything the Guggenheim has conceived to date.
“It is a way of enhancing our country’s image,” Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres said on Thursday, adding that the deal was a “win-win” situation because the revenues received from Abu Dhabi would be invested in French museums.
Still, that the decision has shocked many in the French art world is unsurprising. For them, one appeal of government ownership of cultural institutions is that it shields the arts from commercial interests. Indeed, a common mantra here — one long echoed by government officials — is that creative works should not be sold like consumer goods.
The first shot of criticism was fired last month by three leading lights of the French art world — including Françoise Cachin, a former director of French museums — who complained loudly not only about the Abu Dhabi project, but also about the Louvre’s current three-year loan agreement with the High Museum in Atlanta and a plan for the Georges Pompidou Center to open an annex in Shanghai.
Their protest that France was “selling” its museums, chiefly by renting rather than lending artworks, prompted an Internet site (www.latribunedelart.com) to organize the petition endorsing their position. Among those who have signed are numerous current and former directors and curators of leading museums, including the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou and even the Louvre.
Now, with the issue suddenly in the headlines, the government has started to lift the lid on what has so far been handled as a top-secret operation. Along with confirming the Abu Dhabi plan, officials have leaked its details to Le Monde in an apparent effort to reassure the public that nothing unethical is afoot.
Abu Dhabi is to finance the construction of the museum and, Le Monde reported, will pay $260 million to $520 million for the use of the Louvre’s name for a minimum of 20 years. In practice, though, the relationship with the new museum is to be managed not by the Louvre, but by a new International Agency of French Museums, by which the Musée d’Orsay, the new Musée du Quai Branly, the Château de Versailles and the Pompidou Center will also be represented.
Over the next 10 years, Le Monde noted, this agency is to provide management expertise for a fee of $91 million; four temporary shows a year, worth a total of $195 million; and up to 300 artworks on “permanent” display in exchange for $260 million. Abu Dhabi authorities will, in turn, commit to spending $52 million a year to build their museum’s own collection. After 20 years, the Abu Dhabi Louvre will adopt its own name.
According to French officials, the “desert Louvre,” as one newspaper dubbed it, will be a universal museum, embracing everything from archaeology to fine arts, decorative arts and even contemporary art from all regions, with a particular mandate to stimulate an East-West dialogue.
One rumor circulating here this week was that Abu Dhabi had refused to display nudes or religious paintings, both pillars of Western art. But according to Le Monde, the draft agreement stated that the new museum could not reject artworks for “unreasonable motives.” Francine Mariani-Ducray, the current director of French museums, also denied that Abu Dhabi had placed restrictions on art lent by France.
Concern has also been raised in art circles here by a recent report to the Economy Ministry, which suggested that with only 5 percent of French artworks on public display, France could contemplate selling some of the art normally kept in storage. Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres denied any such plan.
“There is no question of changing the fundamentals of French cultural policies or museums,” he told the French Senate on Thursday. “Above all, there is no question of changing the inalienable character of the works of France’s heritage. It is about making sure they circulate and spread their influence through the world with a limited period of exhibition.”
Still, the proposed creation of an International Agency for French Museums confirms that France is already thinking beyond Abu Dhabi to how the art, experience and prestige of its flagship museums can be exploited diplomatically and politically in other parts of the world.
After all, if many foreigners go to France to visit its museums (and two-thirds of the Louvre’s visitors are foreigners), why not take the museums to the foreigners? So, yes, a Shanghai Pompidou may well be next.