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Abu Dhabi Deal: Louvre’s “Brand” Worth $520 Million

The agreement to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been signed today, as expected. And today’s Financial Times adds more details to what had been reported Saturday by Le Monde (translated by CultureGrrl).
The total value of the agreement for France will be about $1.3 billion (more than Le Monde had reported), according to French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. (Le Monde today published the corrected figure.)
Adam Jones of the FT reports from Abu Dhabi that the agreement is for 30 years. It will cost Abu Dhabi a whopping $520 million just to license the Louvre’s name (in addition to the other fees mentioned in my previous post). Le Monde today reports that some $195 million of the licensing fee will be paid “within a month.”
Compare that to the licensing fee for the prototype for this kind of arrangement, the Guggenheim Bilbao, where the “brand” went for a mere $20 million. Nothing has been released about the financial arrangements for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
The FT further reports:
Abu Dhabi’s tourism, development and investment company said on Tuesday that it was not specifying which works it wanted to borrow: “There is no request for specific art pieces.” The maximum loan period will be two years.
The financials of this arrangement are staggering—an almost impossible temptation for financially strapped museums to resist: “The French culture ministry said that all proceeds would be reinvested in French museums,” the FT reports.

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