Louvre Museum to Franchise in Abu Dhabi Amid French Protest

 - Mar 7, 2007
References: arts.guardian & news.bbc
Louvre is opening its first ever foreign "branch" - in the "art quarters" of the Gulf state, Abu Dhabi. At the French are brewing a turmoil; "our museums are not for sale" - cries an online petition signed by 4,700 people to date.

The big question is: Is a gallery supposed to make money, or it is to serve higher artistic purposes?

Me thinks that the role of galleries is changing with the change in the nature of business world-wide. The emerging thought is that business is not a foe of all things good, but a partner in development. The purpose of art in the emerging world will change: from restricting art to the elite few, art will reach out and across.

Concerns remain over the safe transport of valuable objects, and of removal of "French heritage" from the soil. On the positive, I think a Louvre branch will bring French heritage to the world.

All in all, an interesting development on a usually "traditional" front.