If you happen to pass by E11 Sheikh Zayed Road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, don’t be surprised to see giant sculptures and paintings on the road — courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi!
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Starting April 7, Louvre Abu Dhabi is featuring ten new artworks along E11, as part of the highly-acclaimed “Highway Gallery,” which is back for a second edition! This year’s collection includes enormous 3D sculptures and 10-metre high billboards. Awesome!
Louvre Abu Dhabi Launches “Highway Gallery 2.0”
“The Highway Gallery is a flagship project for both the UAE and the international museum landscape, being the first initiative of its kind,” stated Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, WAM News Agency cited.
“As the UAE celebrates the Year of Tolerance in 2019, we see the Highway Gallery as an extension of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s physical galleries, bringing its universal collection of works from different geographies and cultures, and its celebration of humanity, to the widest possible audience,” he added.
What artworks can you expect to see along the Highway Gallery? Here they are:
- Vase from circa 5500 BCE, found on Marawah Island in the UAE
- 4,000-year-old statue of an ancient Bactrian Princess
- 11th or 12th century statue representing Guanyin (divinity of compassion) from China
- Islamic helmet from the 15th century
- 17th century Hindu manuscript depicting a huntress
- Early 18th century Japanese suit of armor
- Edouard Manet’s “The Bohemian” (1867)
- James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s “Arrangement in Gray & Black No. 1” (1871)
- Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Dance Hall in Arles” (1888)
- 20th century surrealist painting by Joan Miró
Of these ten artworks, three will be reproduced as 3D sculptures. What’s more, each artwork is described by a UAE personality when drivers tune into Classic FM (91.6 FM), Emarat FM (95.8 FM), or Radio 1 FM (100.5 FM). These personalities include:
- Anas Bukhash
- Rose Balston (BBC)
- Chef Khaled Alsaadi
- TV Host Sherif Fayed
- Chiara Glorioso (Radio 1)
- Andrew Hosie (Classic FM)
- Writer & Producer Yasser Hareb
- Lowi Sahi (UAE-based YouTuber)
- Fatima Al Kaabi (UAE’s youngest inventor)
- Zahra Lari (first UAE figure skater to compete internationally)
- Bedoor Al Marzooqi, Mazyoon Al Hamiri, & Rashid Ateeq (Emarat FM)
Bringing Art into Everyday Life
“The vision of Highway Gallery was always to take Louvre Abu Dhabi’s art works to our public in their every day lives,” explained Manuel Rabate, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. “With the Highway Gallery 2.0, our collection is brought to life by prominent voices from the UAE telling you the history of these artworks and their hidden stories.”
“I encourage people to visit the museum to see these art works in person, to experience our world-class architecture or our diverse programme of exhibitions, family weekends and Ramadan and summer initiatives, offering something for everyone,” he continued.
So even as you are driving on your way to the museum, the “tour” has actually begun! And once you enter the museum, prepare to be amazed by seeing these artworks in person! Don’t forget to listen to the multimedia guide, which is available in English, French, and Arabic.
Check out this video preview about Highway Gallery 2.0, shared by Louvre Abu Dhabi on Facebook:
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An art museum along the highway… how cool is that! It makes us even more excited about visiting Louvre Abu Dhabi! Meanwhile, in Dubai, consider taking a trip to the Museum of Illusions (Yay!), then get ready for the upcoming “Museum of the Future.” (Double Yay!)