(From L-R) Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, French President Emmanuel Macron (L), his wife Brigitte, Bahrain's King Hamed bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pose for a photo as they visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum during its inauguration on November 8, 2017 on Saadiyat island in the Emirati capital. (AFP Photo)
Abu Dhabi: French President Emmanuel Macron took his first walk Wednesday night through the galleries of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a decade after his country signed an over $1.2 billion agreement to share the name and some of the artworks of the world-famous museum.
Macron and his wife, Brigitte, walked up to the museum with Abu Dhabi's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan and Dubai's ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Both Emirati rulers smiled and greeted the couple, an Emirati honour guard standing at ready nearby.
With architect Jean Nouvel at his side, Macron entered the first gallery of the museum. Nouvel pointed out the skylight within it, which mirrors the Louvre Pyramid and are similar to others through the museum.
The floor beneath them bore the outline of the United Arab Emirates, with different world cities named on it in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and English.
They then looked at a two-headed Neolithic statue from Jordan, one of the oldest known in human history.
They will join other Arab leaders at an event later Wednesday night to inaugurate the building.
The museum marks a major cultural achievement for the UAE after a decade-long wait.