Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre is selling the use of its name to Abu Dhabi for $520 million. The building will cost a mere $108 million to build, but to slap the Louvre name on it, Abu Dhabi will have to part with more than half a billion dollars!

Is a name really worth that much? I can understand a cola maker wanting to use the Coke name or a shoe maker wanting to use the Nike name, but how does a museum justify paying $520 million to use the Louvre name?

louvre museum in abu dhabi

For an extra $747 million the Louvre is throwing in management advice, art loans, and special exhibitions. This brings the deal to almost $1.3 billion.

NYTimes says there may be more to the deal than just art.. “For France the agreement signals a new willingness to exploit its culture for political and economic ends. In this case, it also represents something of a payback: the United Arab Emirates has ordered 40 Airbus 380 aircraft and has bought about $10.4 billion worth of armaments from France during the last decade.” NY Times (may require free registration)

Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates are expected to open around 2012.
>> Art Museums

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. This story gives us an insight into why the British Government blocked an attempt to probe bribery allegations in that corner of the world. It’s all deals within deals that make sure every interested party benefits.
    Personally, I think flogging the Louvre brand devalues it. Another Louvre Big Mac, anybody?

  2. I think it probably devalues the Louvre brand a liitle too, but I’m sure that the 1 billion plus dollars makes them feel a bit better about the whole situation.

    Whatever happens, I think there’s going to be an impressive collection of art in the UAE. I just hope the well of cash doesnt dry up before it’s all finished.

    From the NY Times article.. Mubarak Al-Muhairi, the deputy chairman of the emirate’s tourism authority says..

    Abu Dhabi is expected to spend around $520 million during the next decade on assembling its own art holdings, “it is our intention to build the collection gradually so as not to disturb the market.” In this, the French museums agency is also expected to play an advisory role.

    In a statement, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan said the accord reinforced Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming “a world-class destination bridging global cultures.”

    I’m getting ready to book my ticket!

  3. I wonder if this is really going to help the Abu-Dhabi gallery in the long run. You’re right by pointing out that there must be more behind this than simply buying a brand name. With so much money to throw around there seems little doubt that the potential for impressive exhibits will be huge…I fail to see how the Louvre tag would improve its appeal in the region.

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