Louvre Abu Dhabi reunites historic ornamental pillars for first time
For the first time in more than 240 years, a pair of ornamental pillars, known as cippi of Melqart, will be on display together at Louvre Abu Dhabi, marking the reunion of the cippi pair, which had been parted since 1782.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Maria Camilleri Calleja, Ambassador of Malta to the UAE, said that the loan of the Cippi came in light of the 50th anniversary of the UAE-Malta diplomatic relations and was a direct result of the collaboration between the entities of Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism; Ministry for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government of Malta; Heritage Malta; Embassy of Malta in the UAE, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Ambassador Calleja stressed that reuniting the Cippi in Abu Dhabi to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Malta highlights connectivity and friendship between the two friendly countries, adding that «we look forward to continued collaboration with the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Emirati side to bring more Malta to the UAE.»
Abu Dhabi is one of the main hubs for globalisation in the world as it hosts more than 200 nationalities living in the city and calling it home, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi Manuel Rabaté told WAM.
«Having the Cippi in the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal Museum of the Arab that embraces Emirati and Arab identity, speaks to the strengths of the UAE, and this is a very strong statement from Abu Dhabi to reach out and invite the world to witness history in the heart of the capital,» he added.
Speaking about the importance of the Cippi, Noel Zammit, Heritage Malta's Chief Executive Officer, explained that the ornamental pillars, which date back to the second century BC, are a symbol of connectivity and dialogue between cultures, due to their role in deciphering the Phoenician language.
He further emphasised that Heritage Malta’s overarching objective is to connect with other cultures to display Malta’s patrimony to the world, adding that «there is no greater opportunity to do that other than here in the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It is a terrific way to celebrate dialogue by linking our culture with the UAEs through the Cippi.»
The display of the cippi pair, which will be available to the public for a year, from May 2023 to June 2024, forms part of the thematic concerned with the crossroads of influences between East and West in Gallery 5 of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is devoted to Civilisations and Empires.