Uniting East and West Through Art: Louvre Abu Dhabi to Display Philippine Gold Artefacts

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula and is located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. It covers a space of 24,000 square meters, of which 8,000 square meters are devoted to exhibition space. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a distinct from the famous Louvre in Paris however, a branding and training partnership that is expected to last for the following 30 years connects the two museums according to the The National News.

Over 600 works of art that unite Eastern and Western art can be seen at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, celebrating the city’s location at the crossroads of the world. Famous European Impressionist and surrealist paintings are on display, along with historical sculptures from Iran and China. In spite of this variety, according to GMA News Online, the curators and the museum’s managers have done a good job of crafting a cohesive story for guests thanks to the galleries’ organization by time period and theme.

This week, two gold artifacts from the Philippines, both dating back to the 10th–13th centuries, are currently on display at the prestigious Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Grand hall as part of the museum’s World Civilizations Collection. The artifacts are the first pieces from the South-East Asian country to go on show at the museum and are in partnership with the Ayala Museum which is in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines that houses objects showcasing Philippine art and culture. The two objects will be on display from 28 June 2022 till June 2023.

The funerary mask (900-1200AD) was recovered in Butuan City, in the region of Caraga, Philippines. The museum claimed to The National News that, “the two pieces places emphasis on immortality being the universal hope of mankind when faced with death. This artefact is currently showcased alongside others from the Levant and South America that exemplify this shared tradition.”

The cup was recovered from Nabua in the Camarines Sur province in the Philippines. According to Yalla, the piece, “highlights the striking similarity of Filipino works with the Chinese gold and silverwares acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi back in 2019”.

Those two new items stand for the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s objective to celebrate and to encourage viewers to learn about other civilizations. Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in November 2017 and this year marks its fifth anniversary. As part of the celebrations, the new items have been added to the museum’s collection.

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