The Louvre in Abu Dhabi, UAE
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Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Great fortunes like to associate themselves with great art, but the United Arab Emirates has mostly channeled its spectacular wealth into spectacular structures, man-made islands and signature skyscrapers, often built by migrant laborers working in dubious conditions. All that applies to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2017. Its larger aim, however, is as lofty as the $1 billion paid to the Paris original for the name and contents—namely, to turn Abu Dhabi into a cultural capital. It helps that the Monets and van Goghs are displayed in a Jean Nouvel–designed complex that is itself a work of art. Its signature feature: an aluminum dome comprising 7,850 stars that do with light and shadow what palm trees do in a more traditional oasis. —Karl Vick

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