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The latest on Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: An interview with Richard Armstrong

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The latest on Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: An interview with Richard Armstrong
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Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is a project earmarked for the capital’s Saadiyat Island.

The museum is being developed near the completed Louvre Abu Dhabi, as part of the emirate’s increased tourism marketing spend by $136 million over three years.

The experimental, sculptural Guggenheim building, is the design of famed architect Frank Gehry.

Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum in New York, gave Euronews a progress report on the upcoming museum during Abu Dhabi’s annual Culture Summit.

Richard Armstrong speaks to Euronews’ Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BUILD?

Armstrong said that the project is on track and on budget, and its construction would be commencing “soon” and will take approximately 4 years to complete.

“It's a big building, parts of it are quite complex and it should take a little bit of time to put together as it's also quite large,” said Armstrong.

Once construction is completed, the director said that the Guggenheim Foundation’s efforts in Abu Dhabi would focus on making sure the museum was on the right creative path.

“[It] will really consume all of our energies over the next 10 years I reckon,” he added.

A projection of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE INSIDE THE ART MUSEUM?

As for what’s planned for the walls of the gallery, the museum director revealed that they will feature pieces from across the globe.

“We’ve been working with our colleagues here to put together what we think is really the first global collection after 1965,” he said. “We'll be seeing important examples of work from all parts of the world, mostly in the wake of Pop Art.”

Paintings and sculptures by younger artists will also be featured as part of the collections, with larger works being elevated for best effect.

“On the top floor, in particular, we expect to have very overscaled interesting works by the likes of James Turrell or Ernesto Neto or Monika Sosnowska from Poland,” Armstrong disclosed.

IS ABU DHABI SET TO BE A CULTURE CAPITAL?

Armstrong believes that the UAE capital is on the right path to becoming a key destination for artists and art lovers.

“It’s a place of growing curiosity,” he said. “There’s a good base at various universities, and in neighbourhoods that are I think on their way to becoming creative capitals, and I see it as a place that has a big future.”

UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that the museum would be completed by 2022. This information has not yet been confirmed.

READ MORE:How can technology, AI and robotics help the arts? Abu Dhabi Culture Summit debates the issue

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