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10 - 11 November 2018

As part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first anniversary celebration, the museum hosted a two-day symposium in collaboration with École du Louvre addressing the role of museums in a globalised world.

The symposium brought together leaders in the field to discuss contemporary museology in the form of keynote speeches and panel discussions. One year after Louvre Abu Dhabi’s opening, the symposium explored and questioned the DNA of this new member of the international museum community, the first universal museum in the Arab world. Together with other museum directors and curators, academics, heads of national heritage and major cultural institutions, the speakers examined our debt to art history and the history of museums while discussing our roles and contributions within the wider context of a modern globalised world.

To explore some of the highlights of this international symposium, you can listen to keynote speeches, read abstracts, biographies and more!

As part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first symposium in collaboration with École du Louvre, four major themes were discussed during these two-day sessions:

Buddha Head, Gandhara, Pakistan, ca. 100 CE-300 CE


Saturday November 10, 2018

James Cuno
President and CEO, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, USA

For a long time, the model on which the great museums were based upon since the Enlightenment was that of universal history. Globalisation and the associated development of new conceptions of history today impinge on this old model and give new meaning to the idea of a universal museum. What challenges are museums now presented with? What collections and principles of exhibiting might arise out of these developments?



Pair of Folding Screens with Maps of Japan and the World, Japan, ca. 1690


Saturday November 10, 2018


H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa

President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Kingdom of Bahrain


Current explorations of the ways in which globalisation processes have reshaped research on past societies, particularly with regards to historical links among heritage sites at both the local and international levels, contribute to contemporary representations in the museum and rethinking the way in which these societies are exhibited and studied through their artistic creations.



Propagation (Germination series), Cité de la céramique, Sèvres and Limoges, France, 2016


Sunday November 11, 2018

Nathalie Bondil
Director-General and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MBAM), Canada

The global and the local are becoming increasingly intertwined in the twenty-first century, which leads museums to re imagine their displays and the relationships between the objects in their collections. Far from conflicting, these two terms have come to denote a new dimension of scale and geography that can be represented in a multitude of ways.


Young Emir Studying, Istanbul (?), Turkey, 1878


Sunday November 11, 2018

Anne-Marie Maïla-Afeiche
Director, The National Museum of Beirut, Lebanon

Kennie Ting
Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

Over the last twenty years or so, many museums around the world have, through the splendour of their collections, enriched the panorama of the great museums that were formerly centred on Western art. It is this very model of the centre/periphery that is being overturned in the new geography of museums of both regional and international influence.




Worlds in a Museum, Exploring Contemporary Museology

Experts from around the world explore the universal museum and new models of cultural interpretation in the 21st century. This collection of essays addresses contemporary museology the era of globalisation and the preservation and presentation of culture within the context of changing societies.



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