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?
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)