Written by By Lyndsey Alley
Some of the treasures belonging to Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Nahyan, who died in 2012, have been gifted to the Louvre for display and research, making them among the oldest collections of his historical items outside the United Arab Emirates.
The decision to donate these objects to the Louvre, made by Al Nahyan’s family in 2015, was made with the UAE’s support. The donation includes 54 items including books, crowns, plates, chocolates, coins, slippers, a Yemeni sword, and several portraits of the late Sheikh, that are part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection.
The Al Nahyan family donated them to the museum “in the tradition of their father and grandfather,” the Louvre wrote in a statement on December 14.
“They treasure this donation, which brings these personal belongings of Sheikh Abdulaziz to the international eye. It represents the best of his cultural heritage that will forever remain as a living part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection,” said Al Nahyan family spokeswoman Shomair Chikhani in a statement at the time.
Born in Fujairah, UAE, in 1932, Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Nahyan served as a member of the Supreme Council of the UAE, Minister of Education, President of the Abu Dhabi Republican Council, and Honorary President of the Central Bank of the UAE. He was also a founder of the Al Nahyan tribe in 1959. He died in his home in UAE at the age of 80.
Upon taking office in 2014, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan honored the Al Nahyan family by naming a residential area of Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Al Ras Al Nahyan, after Sheikh Abdulaziz.
The acquisition of this collection, which will remain on permanent loan to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, completes an earlier loan of several Al Nahyan royal items from the Emirates Museum in Dubai to the Louvre from the United Arab Emirates National Museum.