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Globetrotter A WORLD OF TRAVEL NEWS AND DISCOVERIE

BACTRIAN “PRINCESS” CENTRAL ASIA, END OF 3RD BEGINNING OF 2ND MILLENNIUM BCE CHLORITE (BODY AND HEADDRESS), CALCITE (FACE) 25.3X11.5X9.5CM LOUVRE ABU DHABI, ABU DHABI, LAD 2011.024 © LOUVRE ABU DHABI/THIERRY OLLIVIER. EDOUARD MANET PARIS, 1832–PARIS, 1883 THE GYPSY PARIS, FRANCE, 1862–1867 OIL ON CANVAS 116.7X81.5X11.5CM, 90.5X55.5X2.5CM (WITHOUT FRAME) LOUVRE ABU DHABI, ABU DHABI, LAD 2009.018.001 © LOUVRE ABU DHABI / THIERRY OLLIVIER
PHOTOGRAPHS: LOUVRE ABU DHABI EXTERIOR WITH ABU DHABI SKYLINE (NIGHT) © LOUVRE ABU DHABI, PHOTOGRAPHY: MOHAMED SOMJI. BACTRIAN PRINCESS © LOUVRE ABU DHABI/THIERRY OLLIVIER. EDOUARD MANET, THE GYPSY, 1862–1867 © LOUVRE ABU DHABI/THIERRY OLLIVIER

Star attraction

IT’S BEEN A DECADE IN THE PIPELINE, but the Louvre Abu Dhabi finally opens its doors to the public this month. Designed as the centrepiece of a new cultural district in the city, the gallery appears as an island city floating in the waters of the Arabian gulf. The 55 exhibition spaces sit under a gigantic domed roof made up of thousands of interlocking stars, which throw patterns onto the floors and tidal pools below. The effect, according to its architect, is of a ‘parasol creating a shower of lights’. Of course, this is a Louvre, so there are plenty of star-gazing opportunities inside, too. The gallery’s collection stretches from prehistorical objects – such as the Bactrian Princess created in Central Asia nearly 5,000 years ago (right) – to commissioned pieces by contemporary artists like Jenny Holzer, and crowd-pulling works by Manet ( The Gypsy, far right), Mondrian and Ai Weiwei.

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