DUBAI – With the Louvre Abu Dhabi “closed until further notice” due to the coronavirus, the museum is seeking online connections more than ever.
“Louvre Abu Dhabi has always been about the universal connections that bind us across cultures, histories and time periods, proving that we have far more in common than we know,” Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, tells EFE.
Now these connections are more important than ever amid a pandemic that keeps people, countries and continents apart.
“These new circumstances have encouraged us to accelerate our digital programs so that we can continue to share our content,” he added.
The museum’s website offers videos, audio and images of art and archaeological pieces, as well as educational activities for children.
One of these videos enables the users to enjoy the details of the granite stele in which the name of the pharaoh Tutankhamun is written with hieroglyphs; with an over one-minute audio explains its importance.
The virtual visits, however, do not provide the historical tour on offer to those visiting in person, which takes them from prehistory all the way through to the present.
The tour consists of twelve chapters, through galleries gathered under a 180-meter, 7,500-ton dome.
The ceiling, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel inspired by the Islamic art and local culture, allows beams of light to infiltrate the roof and create the rain of light.
The museum, located in the Saadiyat Island, is one of the few touristic attractions the capital has to offer compared to its fellow Emirati main competitor Dubai.
Therefore, the museum hopes to reopen as soon as possible when people are able to travel to UAE after commercial flights to other countries have resumed.
When it does, the online experience will not be truncated, Rabate promises.
The in-person visits will be combined with virtual content after the current circumstances forced the museum, and the art world in general, to make the leap to the internet.