To mark UAE Innovation Month, Louvre Abu Dhabi has unveiled its radio-guided Highway Gallery, which showcases 10 magnificent artworks and artefacts from the museum’s collection on 8×6 meter billboards alongside the E/11 Sheikh Zayed road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
In partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company, Radio 1 FM (100.5 FM), Classic FM (91.6 FM) and Emarat FM (95.8 FM) will automatically play a 30-second story about each piece as travelers approach the display – the world’s first audio-visual experience of this kind.
Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chair of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This exhibition puts Abu Dhabi on the map of global innovations that underpin its axes of art, culture and information. In alignment with the national strategy of innovation that aims to position the UAE among the most innovative countries in the world over the next seven years. We have built an advanced platform that provides the public with a variety of categories and interests, by providing them with rich and diverse content that contributes to our mission in transferring culture and knowledge. Allowing the community to benefit from the technological development integrated in the UAE’s media and cultural sectors.”
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “Highlighting some of the museum’s iconic masterpieces through a unique, audio-visual experience, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Highway Gallery makes art and culture accessible to people, beyond the museum’s walls. Bringing to life these few but captivating stories from the museum, we hope the Gallery stimulates imaginations and offers new ways to enjoy art.”
The Highway Gallery launched today and will be on show for a month, spanning 100 kilometres of road between Seih Shuaib to Rahba City.
Ancient masterpieces showcased in the Highway Gallery include the Mari-Cha lion, an important Islamic work from the Mediterranean region; the exceptional Egyptian Sarcophagus of Princess Henuttawy; a coin inspired by Alexander the Great and discovered in the UAE, on loan from Al Ain Museum; and an 8,000-year-old two-headed statue one of the oldest monumental statues in the history of humanity, on loan from the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.
Paintings spanning from the Renaissance to modernity will also be on display. These include Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of a woman, La Belle Ferronnière, a loan from Musée du Louvre; Van Gogh’s 1887 Self Portrait, on loan from Musée d’Orsay; and Édouard Manet’s The Fife Player, on loan from Musée d’Orsay. Other Paintings from the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Collection include Young Emir Studying by Osman Hamdi Bey; Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington; and Piet Mondrian’s iconic Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black.
In addition to the launch of the Highway Gallery, Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced an extensive public programme, offering residents and visitors diverse cultural experiences in dialogue with the museum’s collection, narrative and architecture. Upcoming events include a Korean puppet show aimed at children and families which will run from the 15th to the 17th of March, Bach solo by cellist Sonia Wider-Atherton and dancer Shantala Shivalingappa on the 30th and 31st of March, followed by a recital of Swayambhu and South African dances by Via Sophiatown on the 5th and 6th of April, and a concert of Love and Revenge on the 2nd and 3rd of May.
The first universal museum in the Arab world, Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on 11 November. It offers a new perspective on the history of art in a globalised world. Alongside its collection of artworks and artefacts in its galleries spanning from pre-historic times to the present day, the museum will present four special exhibitions a year organised by the French museum partners and Agence France-Muséums as per the intergovernmental agreement for 15 years between the Government of Abu Dhabi and France.