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| 15 January, 2018

Van Gogh exhibition opens in Abu Dhabi

For the first time in the UAE, visitors have the unique opportunity to experience the Dutch master's artistry

Louvre, Abu Dhabi: Designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the project will feature a top dome that weighs almost the same as the Eiffel Tower and has already been listed among the world’s most anticipated architectural projects in 2017 by London-based newspaper The Times.

Louvre, Abu Dhabi: Designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the project will feature a top dome that weighs almost the same as the Eiffel Tower and has already been listed among the world’s most anticipated architectural projects in 2017 by London-based newspaper The Times.

Louvre Abu Dhabi/Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya
A one-of-a-kind Van Gogh exhibition has opened its doors to the public in the UAE Capital. The multi-sensory experience, which celebrates one of the most famous artists in the world, is "Unlike any other exhibition ever held," said officialson Monday.

For the first time in the UAE, visitors have the unique opportunity to experience the Dutch master's artistry, and truly venture into his ambiguous mind, at the Van Gogh Alive - The Experience, exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

The multi-sensory exhibition, openedon Mondayat the Abu Dhabi National Theater, and will last until26 February, before moving on to impress more crowds at Dubai's Design District.

During the opening of the exhibition, officials referred to the exhibition as "No ordinary exhibition."

"There has been no exhibition like this in the UAE. Although his work has been showed around the world, it has never been showed in this manner," said Yousef Batook, managing partner of 6IX Degrees Entertainment.

Touring through the breathtaking and highly emotional rooms inside the theater, visitors will witness more than 3000 of the Post-Impressionist's artworks and even his hand-written letters, all projected on 40 towering screens - on the walls, ceilings and even the floors, while thrilling classical score fills the air.

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From start to finish, visitors are surrounded by a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, colour and sound that compels them to leave the world behind and immerse themselves in what has been called an unforgettable multi-sensory experience.

Van Gogh's masterpieces come to life as visitors experience the sensation of walking right into his paintings - a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational.

Yasser Al Gergawi, Head of Cultural Events Department at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, said that art is a universal language, a bridge that has the power to bring people from all walks of life together.

"The exhibition comes within the Ministry's strategy to promote the UAE's position as an international culture and art hub, facilitating communication among various cultures."

Al Gergawi pointed out that the Ministry is also working on the stimulation of artistic awareness and acceptance, as well as preparing experienced and talented young nationals in the fields of art to develop the cultural renaissance within the country.

"We are developing the culture renaissance in the country, and inspiring Emirati artists and art lovers."

Yousef Batook, said the unique exhibition is one that will be celebrated and remembered.

"It's a fantastic privilege to bring the world-renown Van Gogh Alive to Abu Dhabi and the Middle East for the first time."

"There has never been an art exhibition like this in the region and we're expecting visitors to be blown away by this stimulating experience."

Willemijin van Haaften, Regional Political Envoy, Representing the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said the exhibition allows visitors to not only enjoy Van Gogh's artworks, but also gives them the opportunity to understand the man himself.

"Van Gogh is one of the most famous Dutch painters, and even though he belongs to the Netherlands, he belongs more to the world."

Today, Van Gogh's artworks are sold for millions of dollars around the world, although this was not the case during his lifetime, as he lived in poverty, while battling severe depression.

"I believe Van Gogh would have really loved this exhibition, because it expresses art through vision and through music," added Van Haaften.

The first day of the exhibition already saw success, as adults and children forged their own paths and found their own meaning, as they wandered through the galleries, exploring hidden nooks, viewing artworks from new angles and discovering unique perspectives.

But for many, the greatest pleasure lies in simply standing still, indulging the senses as waves of sights and sounds, intense and beautiful, wash over them.

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