Louvre Abu Dhabi Cosmos
Louvre Abu Dhabi: Picturing the Cosmos
22.08.2023
   Reading 2 min
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Louvre Abu Dhabi has collaborated with the UAE Space Agency and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to stage Picturing the Cosmos, a stunning immersive exhibition for children drawing inspiration from the human fascination of space. It takes young adventure seekers on an educational and entertaining tour to explore the cosmos through its representations in art from various periods and cultures. The exhibition will be open to the public until June 2025.

Picturing the Cosmos spans over three floors at the Children’s Museum at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Each of the floors has a particular theme: Observation of the Sky; The Planets and the Constellations from Earth; Space Navigation and Mars Exploration.

Visitors’ journey begins with Observation of the Sky (the 1st floor). Upon entering, they are greeted with a message specially recorded by Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. The section features about 20 art pieces on view in a nocturnal setting. They display how one measured the sky and stars throughout our history. Among the exhibits are Moonrise Over Laita by French painter Joseph Paul Mesle loaned from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris; globes from 17th and 18th century Pakistan and France; and sundials from ancient Egypt and 19th century Japan. There is also multimedia content demonstrating how the cosmos has been featured on screen. It includes A Trip to the Moon, a film shot by Georges Melies in 1902, and Grendizer, the Japanese anime series from the 1970s.

Joseph Paul Mesle, Moonrise Over Laita, 1909.

The Planets and the Constellations from Earth (the 2nd floor) is inspired by the International Space Station. As the level’s title suggests, it encourages bold young explorers to focus on the planets and constellations we are surrounded by. One can have a look at the Sokol space suit of Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri that has been loaned from the UAE Space Agency. Besides, there are two amazing loans from the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi. These are lunar meteorite fragments found in north-west Africa and a meteorite discovered in Murchison, Australia, in 1969 (it is estimated to be seven billion years old! ).

The theme of the 3d and final floor is Space Navigation and Mars Exploration. Here, kids get the exciting opportunity to prepare for their own Mars mission through different activities taking place in an outdoor play area. For example, future astronauts are offered to choose the right vegetables to take on board and maintain their balance while jumping on a trampoline.

Picturing the Cosmos (installation view). Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, 2023.

Speaking about Picturing the Cosmos, Ugo Bertoni (Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi) said that the museum, art history, science, and the Emirates’ vision of space exploration are being connected through the exhibition. Amine Kharchach (Interpretation and Creative Content Section Head at Louvre Abu Dhabi), one of the exhibition’s curators, said: “[…] Using immersive design and gamification […], [we allow] our young visitors to discover the artworks and explore the topic of space and cosmos in an unprecedented way.”

To get more information about the exhibition, please visit its official webpage.

You might also be interested in visiting the Museum of the Future.

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