Louvre Abu Dhabi: Looking back at the decade-long journey using newspaper archives


In this series of data analytics inspired posts on Louvre Abu Dhabi, we look at mainstream media coverage around the world – specifically print newspapers.

Since the first announcement that Louvre in France and Abu Dhabi signed a contract to build a museum in Abu Dhabi back in 2007 through September 2017 when Abu Dhabi authorities finally announced the opening in November 2017, there have been over 4,700 articles in newspapers all around the world in a time span stretching a little over a decade.

It has been a long wait for art lovers around the world. Here’s a timeline of coverage throughout the last decade.

A – March 2007: Louvre signs a $1.3 billion agreement with Abu Dhabi
B – May 2009: Construction on Louvre Abu Dhabi begins
C – Jan 2012: Louvre Abu Dhabi revises opening to 2015
D – Jan 2013- Arabtec to build Abu Dhabi Louvre for $654 million
E – Oct 2014: Louvre Abu Dhabi scoops up 300 masterpieces from France
F – Feb 2015: Rights Abuses at NYU, Louvre, Guggenheim Project
G – Dec 2016: French President tours the Louvre Abu Dhabi
H – Sep 2017: Louvre Abu Dhabi Will (Finally) Open in November

The timeline shows a massive uptick in coverage in January 2013 largely achieved as news broke that the construction has finally begun – a welcome news given that in the years leading up to the date the project hasn’t moved much dampening the initial excitement garnered at the project’s launch.

While there has been a lot to cheer for art lovers and travel enthusiasts globally, the project also attracted criticism in late 2015 and early 2015 from rights groups and newspapers like the Guardian that highlighted worker conditions at Saadiyat Island, where the project was being built. The authorities moved swiftly to address those concerns.

Most of this coverage came from the United States (18%) followed by local media (17%), regional countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and not surprisingly European countries like France, UK and Italy.

Source: The analysis is drawn from Locus Elite news archives.


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