‘Building Louvre Abu Dhabi’ focuses on the new museum, which opened in November 2017 following a decade of planning and construction. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a collegial effort between France and the United Arab Emirates to create a visionary museum that inherits the tradition of the French institution whilst embracing the multicultural dynamics of the Arab world. This aspiration pervades the Jean Nouvel–designed building, which features a low-slung dome that evokes the architecture of a mosque and a mausoleum. The dome is pierced with openings and resembles interwoven palm leaves assembled into a lattice, proposing a contemporary reading of a traditional form. At the core of the museum’s mission is the notion of universal human values, which is enacted through collecting and programming activities that bridge the Louvre’s long history with the distinctive cultural context of Abu Dhabi. Manuel Rabaté is deeply connected with Louvre Abu Dhabi, through his work at Agence France-Muséums to lay the groundwork for the project, and now as the museum’s first director. Rabaté discusses the building of this twenty-first-century encyclopedic museum as ‘a museum of experimentation, and a museum of meeting points’.

‘Building Louvre Abu Dhabi’ is the second talk in the M+ Matters | Keynote series, which invites international thinkers and practitioners to share their experiences and insights into the development of influential projects that have defined the cultural landscape in the twenty-first century. 

This edition of M+ Matters | Keynote is organised by Suhanya Raffel (Executive Director, M+) and Isabella Tam (Associate Curator, Visual Art, M+), with Kary Woo (Curatorial Assistant, Visual Art, M+).

7 December 2018 (Friday)

6:30pm – 8:00pm (Registration starts at 6:15pm) 

Jockey Club Hall, Asia Society Hong Kong Center (9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong)

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi

This talk is a partner programme of Business of Design Week.

The talk will be conducted in English, with simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese.

Online registration is now closed. Walk-in registrations will be allowed depending on the availability of seats on the day. You may come to the event venue 10 minutes before the event starts and queue up. First come, first served.

kary.woo@mplus.org.hk / (852) 2200 0134

Adverse Weather Arrangement:
Programme will be cancelled if typhoon signal no. 8 or black rainstorm warning is in force at or after 11:00 am on the day of the event.

About the Speaker

Manuel Rabaté

Since 2016, Manuel Rabaté has been the Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi—the museum’s first. Between 2002 and 2005, he served as Deputy Director of the auditorium of the musée du Louvre, where he participated in the creation of new programmes on Islamic arts. In 2005, he joined the musée du quai Branly in Paris as Deputy Director of Cultural Development, in advance of the museum’s opening in 2006. He also led the launch of the museum’s first travelling exhibition, Masques: beauté des esprits, which was presented at the Bahrain National Museum in 2008. He joined Agence France-Muséums in 2008 and has since been deeply involved in the development of the inter-governmental Louvre Abu Dhabi project, from the conceptual phase through to the museum’s operation. In 2013, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Agence France-Muséums, to establish Louvre Abu Dhabi with a multidisciplinary team of museum professionals and to lead the project in collaboration with major French museums and their partners in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to his work in the service of museums, Manuel Rabaté has taught Arts and Cultural Management at the Université Paris-Dauphine and at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

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