When the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens late next year, it will display masterpieces by da Vinci, Monet and Warhol – as well as a Torah scroll from Yemen.
The Torah will be among 300 works on view at the museum, which is being built at a cost of 500 million euros ($630 million) in the Emirate, according to French news agency AFP.
Abu Dhabi, which is fairly conservative culturally, has not censored any nudity or religious symbolism in the works to be displayed, a French source told AFP.
The collection includes an ancient Hindu statue, a Buddha and works evoking African Animism, the source said.
Set to open in December 2015, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will present works spanning from pre-Bronze Age to Pop Art from 13 famous French collections, including those of the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles.
“This will be the first time many of these works will travel to Abu Dhabi or even the Middle East, and are a rare opportunity to see important art from French museums,” Sultan bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, chairman of the organization behind the project, told AFP.
Among the artworks from antiquity to go on display are a 4,000-year-old statue of Mesopotamian ruler Gudea and a figurine of King Ramses II from Egypt’s 19th dynasty.
In 2007, Abu Dhabi paid France's Louvre $520 million just to use its name for the project.