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The Megabucks Global Louvre: Abu Dhabi Details Emerge

You already heard (here and here) of GAD (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi). But nothing the Global Guggenheim has done up till now prepares us for the emormous artistic and financial scope of LAD—the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
On Thursday, Jacques Follorou reported in Le Monde that he had been given “access to the confidential clauses of the contract” for Abu Dhabi Louvre, and he reported the financial arrangements in detail.
Here are the essentials, from Alan Riding’s report in today’s NY Times, which is based on Thursday’s French newspaper report:
After months of rumors and a week of protests, the French government has finally confirmed that in exchange for a sum said to be $800 million to $1 billion, it will rent the name, art treasures and expertise of the Louvre to a new museum to be built in Abu Dhabi….
Abu Dhabi is to finance the construction of the museum and, Le Monde reported, will pay $260 million to $520 million for the use of the Louvre’s name for a minimum of 20 years. In practice, though, the relationship with the new museum is to be managed not by the Louvre, but by a new International Agency of French Museums, by which the Musée d’Orsay, the new Musée du Quai Branly, the Château de Versailles and the Pompidou Center will also be represented.
Over the next 10 years, Le Monde noted, this agency is to provide management expertise for a fee of $91 million; four temporary shows a year, worth a total of $195 million; and up to 300 artworks on “permanent” display in exchange for $260 million. Abu Dhabi authorities will, in turn, commit to spending $52 million a year to build their museum’s own collection. After 20 years, the Abu Dhabi Louvre will adopt its own name.

I got alarmed when I saw Riding’s comment that 300 works from French museums would be on “permanent” display in Abu Dhabi. But the Le Monde report makes clear that these works will be deposited in Abu Dhabi on longterm loan, for up to 10 years, not permanently.
People always said that Tom Krens was a “visionary.” But I suspect that even he did not envision how far this would go. And you already know how I feel about it.
CLARIFICATION: According to the details published in Le Monde, French museums will loan works to the new museum in Abu Dhabi, on a rotating basis, over a 10-year period. But loans of individual works will last for a period of three months to two years.

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