British Museum loans to Abu Dhabi

Zayed National Museum. Source:

Martin Bailey, British Museum to send star objects to the Gulf, The Art Newspaper, 2 June 2015

Assyrian reliefs among the 500 loans earmarked for long stay in Abu Dhabi.

The British Museum’s plan to lend 500 objects to Abu Dhabi for five years has expanded to include highlights of the London institution’s collection—and we can now reveal the list of objects that the museum has earmarked to send.

The loans are to the Zayed National Museum, which is due to open in 2016. The British Museum will get a substantial fee, although it has declined to reveal the amount.

The museum initially planned to send objects from its stores, excluding works that were on display or were likely to be shown. But the loans now include important pieces that the museum classes among its 5,000 “highlights” (these items are lent to international exhibitions, but nearly always on a short-term basis, usually three to six months). Critics are likely to ask whether so much should be lent to the Gulf for so long.

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