Most of us know of the Louvre, the famous museum in Paris with the instantly recognisable glass pyramid at its entrance but there is another Louvre, nearly 7000km away in the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi.
Where Paris has its pyramid, Abu Dhabi has its roof, an amazing low dome of eight layers of overlapping metal pieces, weighing 7000 tonnes, that create nearly 8000 stars through which sunlight filters. The idea is to imitate the light falling through date fronds in an oasis.
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Of course, art lovers are temporarily unable to visit either - both museums are closed to the public for the foreseeable future while both nations battle the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are ways to visit virtually, easily achieved from the comfort of your lockdown bubble.
Although the Louvre Abu Dhabi doesn't have a virtual tour per se, its app - available in the App Store or Google Play - allows you to explore the museum's highlights, with audio guides explaining the history and stories behind a huge number of artworks and sculptures. Its website has a selection of special online-only content, with video, audio and downloadable activities, which will be updated every few days while the musuem is closed.
The website of the Louvre Paris has four different virtual tours, taking you through the Petite Galerie, the Egyptian Antiquities exhibition, the Galerie d'Apollon, and into the bowels of the museum and its medieval moat foundations.
It's not the same as visiting in person, of course, but while we remain in lockdown, it's the next best thing.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi — not, its people are quick to point out, a branch of the Paris operation — opened at the end of 2017 and for 30 years and six months, the emirate has the rights to the name, in exchange for €400 million.
The arrangement also includes a rotation of 200-300 artworks and to provide four temporary exhibitions every year for 15 years. That art comes not just from the Louvre Paris, but other French museums, including the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Musee d'Orsay, Versailles and the Rodin Museum. More than 2 million visitors have already been through its doors.
The museum itself has 12 interconnecting galleries surrounded by water that are designed to look like a traditional small Arabian city, or medina. The whole thing occupies 24,000sq m but the galleries are not huge, so as you meander peacefully through you are not overwhelmed.
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The 12 galleries are not about the Greek room, the Egyptian room, the Pacific room etc, rather they take you on a journey from prehistoric to contemporary art, not about places but about humanity and the spread of knowledge and influences.
A standout in The Great Powers gallery - and one of the works you can see on the app - is a 4-tonne diorite statue of Egyptian king King Ramses II on loan from Louvre Paris. Its installation must have been a headache as none of the art can be on water level but such is the grid on the floors, the statue can now easily be moved.
Through Civilisations and Empires, and Universal Religions visitors are guided to trade routes from Asia, through the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and see along the way how influences travelled. Like how some of the blue and white designs incorporated into Islamic art came from early Chinese porcelain.
Along the way, light pours into all the galleries, with quotes from around the world etched into the glass walls. "In Africa, when an old man dies, a library burns to the ground".
In the gallery for The Magnificence of the Court, supreme power comes not only from Europe, but also Turkey, Japan and Africa in modern-day Nigeria. Something you'll only appreciate on an in-person tour of the museum is the attention to detail found everywhere. Some parts of the floor are leather tiles to replicate traditional Arab flooring, in others there is marble, some of it from the same quarry as the Palace of Versailles' Hall of Mirrors, to be in keeping with the surrounding artworks.
The Louvre in Paris , the world's largest art museum, is a little over seven hours flight from Abu Dhabi and in normal circumstances would see around 10.2 million visitors a year.
It could take weeks to do justice to the 35,000 exhibited artworks. There is an overflow Louvre in Lens, Picardy, north of Paris and don't even think about the number of works behind closed doors.
The standouts are countless - The Mona Lisa, of course. The 400m Grande Galerie, completed in 1610 and originally a link between the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. It now houses Italian paintings but after Henry IV had it built, his son, Louis, the dauphin used it to exercise his camel. Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People commemorates the July Revolution of 1830. When artists filled huge walls with tableaux from history, Delacroix put up a snapshot of the year's big news.
There are more than 400 rooms to be seen, more than 14km of walking to be done.
The vastness, of the buildings, the extent and variety of what you can see, plus the crowds everywhere around you, ramp up the pressure-cooker atmosphere.
Why not use this time in lockdown to scour the museum's website and virtual tours, and research the things you want to see when we're finally able to visit for ourselves.
When international borders reopen, you can fly to Abu Dhabi, then on to Paris, with Eithad from Sydney. etihad.com/en-nz