Shipping France's patrimony to the Gulf (updated)

Thomas Lifson
France may be having trouble shipping A 380 jumbo jets to Persian Gulf customers, but it will be shipping some of the masterworks from the Louvre to a "satellite" museum to be constructed in Abu Dhabi, according to the CBC, via Ummah News Links.
French newspapers have reported the deal - which calls for the Louvre to lend its name, expertise and some of its art treasures to the proposed affiliate in Abu Dhabi - could be worth €500 million ($777 million). The New York Times has reported that figure could be closer to $1 billion. [....]

"You don't have to look far for the reasons for this cultural escapade," the Liberation daily said in an editorial. "Oil is expensive and the Airbus has been selling badly recently."
Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, has four A 380s on order. Emirates Airlines, based nearby in Dubai, is waiting for 43 planes to be delivered. Qatar Airways, also nearby, has 2 big birds also suffering from repeated delivery delays. The three tiny oil emirates account for nearly one third of the orders for the troubled aircraft. [Readers should note that Airbus has not removed the 10 aircraft cancelled by UPS from its official order book.]

The move is not unprecedented. The Louvre already loans some of its work to the High Museum in Atlanta. I do have to wonder, however, if Christian-themed art, the favorite source for material of European fine art, will be included.

Update: More from Ummah News Links:

Some in French art circles are aghast:

...prominent figures in the French art world have accused their government of exploiting art for trade and diplomacy and said the lending of art will overburden French museums. Led by the art historian and critic Didier Rykner, the opponents of the Abu Dhabi scheme collected 4,700 signatures on a petition.

"We have lost a battle, but the combat continues," Rykner wrote this week on his website "La Tribune de l'Art," paraphrasing De Gaulle's famous remark after Nazi Germany defeated France in 1940.
But the terms are very generous:

The French government will receive $525 million for use of the Louvre brand alone, plus a gift of $33 million to renovate a wing of the Paris Louvre, which will be named for longtime Emirates ruler Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Sheik Zayed wing of the Louvre, in its Pavillion de Flore, will provide a prominent home for Islamic works of art, organizers said.

The further $750 million will be spent to bring French managers and 300 loaned works of art to fill and staff the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as to renovate a French palace and fund an artwork restoration center in Paris.

The cost of building Nouvel's museum design has yet to be calculated and is likely to add hundreds of US millions of dollars more to the cost, pushing the overall project close to $2 billion. Nouvel's design renderings revealed a white discus-shaped building with galleries illuminated by shafts of sunlight streaming through irregular-shaped windows in the roof.

Beyond the construction cost is the stratospheric price of buying the artworks that the Louvre Abu Dhabi will need to fill the 260,000 square foot museum once the 30-year loan period with France expires.

"We'd rather not announce our collection budget," said Mubarak al-Muhairi, director of Abu Dhabi's tourism authority. "We don't want to create a disturbance in the market."
Your gasoline dollars at work.
France may be having trouble shipping A 380 jumbo jets to Persian Gulf customers, but it will be shipping some of the masterworks from the Louvre to a "satellite" museum to be constructed in Abu Dhabi, according to the CBC, via Ummah News Links.
French newspapers have reported the deal - which calls for the Louvre to lend its name, expertise and some of its art treasures to the proposed affiliate in Abu Dhabi - could be worth €500 million ($777 million). The New York Times has reported that figure could be closer to $1 billion. [....]

"You don't have to look far for the reasons for this cultural escapade," the Liberation daily said in an editorial. "Oil is expensive and the Airbus has been selling badly recently."
Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, has four A 380s on order. Emirates Airlines, based nearby in Dubai, is waiting for 43 planes to be delivered. Qatar Airways, also nearby, has 2 big birds also suffering from repeated delivery delays. The three tiny oil emirates account for nearly one third of the orders for the troubled aircraft. [Readers should note that Airbus has not removed the 10 aircraft cancelled by UPS from its official order book.]

The move is not unprecedented. The Louvre already loans some of its work to the High Museum in Atlanta. I do have to wonder, however, if Christian-themed art, the favorite source for material of European fine art, will be included.

Update: More from Ummah News Links:

Some in French art circles are aghast:

...prominent figures in the French art world have accused their government of exploiting art for trade and diplomacy and said the lending of art will overburden French museums. Led by the art historian and critic Didier Rykner, the opponents of the Abu Dhabi scheme collected 4,700 signatures on a petition.

"We have lost a battle, but the combat continues," Rykner wrote this week on his website "La Tribune de l'Art," paraphrasing De Gaulle's famous remark after Nazi Germany defeated France in 1940.
But the terms are very generous:

The French government will receive $525 million for use of the Louvre brand alone, plus a gift of $33 million to renovate a wing of the Paris Louvre, which will be named for longtime Emirates ruler Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Sheik Zayed wing of the Louvre, in its Pavillion de Flore, will provide a prominent home for Islamic works of art, organizers said.

The further $750 million will be spent to bring French managers and 300 loaned works of art to fill and staff the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as to renovate a French palace and fund an artwork restoration center in Paris.

The cost of building Nouvel's museum design has yet to be calculated and is likely to add hundreds of US millions of dollars more to the cost, pushing the overall project close to $2 billion. Nouvel's design renderings revealed a white discus-shaped building with galleries illuminated by shafts of sunlight streaming through irregular-shaped windows in the roof.

Beyond the construction cost is the stratospheric price of buying the artworks that the Louvre Abu Dhabi will need to fill the 260,000 square foot museum once the 30-year loan period with France expires.

"We'd rather not announce our collection budget," said Mubarak al-Muhairi, director of Abu Dhabi's tourism authority. "We don't want to create a disturbance in the market."
Your gasoline dollars at work.