The new Louvre museum
France's culture minister will approve the construction of an annex to the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, his office said Saturday, despite criticism in art circles that the government is playing loose with France's artistic treasures.
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres will sign an accord in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday paving the way for establishing the affiliate of the celebrated Paris museum, his office said, without providing details.
Louvre managers and the French government have drawn criticism for the museum's policy of lending out works to the High Museum in Atlanta in exchange for funding as part of a three-year agreement.
The Abu Dhabi deal appears to be along the same lines. Critics fear such accords will put French museums under strain, and complain that politicians are using art for strategic and economic ends. AP