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M+ Matters | Keynote: Building Louvre Abu Dhabi

December 7, 2018, 6.30pm
Jockey Club Hall, Asia Society Hong Kong Center (9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong)

In this lecture organised by M+, Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, discusses the building of this twenty-first-century encyclopedic museum as ‘a museum of experimentation, and a museum of meeting points’.

Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in November 2017 following a decade of planning and construction. It is the result of a collegial effort between France and the United Arab Emirates to create a visionary museum that inherits the tradition of the French institution while 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. 

‘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+).

6.30pm – 8pm (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

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

Free admission. Limited capacity on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register in advance:

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

For media enquiries
Communications and Public Affairs Department
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Joey Chow
T 852 2200 0716 /

Sutton (international media)
Emily Chow
T 852 2528 0792 / 


About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s 21st century.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.



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