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Louvre Abu Dhabi appoints Scientific, Curatorial & Collections Management Director

Souraya Noujaim named Scientific, Curatorial & Collections Management Director

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Cultural District
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–8pm,
Thursday–Friday 10am–10pm

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Louvre Abu Dhabi announced the appointment of Dr. Souraya Noujaim as its first Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director. Dr. Noujaim has been working on the Louvre Abu Dhabi project as Curator for Islamic Art at Agence France-Muséums over the past four years and headed the museum’s section dedicated to medieval times, based in Abu Dhabi for the majority of her tenure. In her new role she will oversee the scientific, curatorial and the museum collection management services.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, praised Dr. Noujaim, saying: “She has consistently brought passion and dedication to her work on the Louvre Abu Dhabi project. Souraya was nominated based on the intergovernmental agreement between the Government of Abu Dhabi and France and we are now delighted to appoint her to this fundamental role, in which she will continue to contribute significantly to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s vision as a universal museum.”

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “The Scientific, Curatorial & Collections Management Department plays a vital role in our core mission: it is primarily responsible for assembling and helping visitors understand their path through the museum, organised around central themes of humanity. The path is illustrated by Louvre Abu Dhabi’s rich collection of masterpieces and artefacts, which originated from across the world. Souraya Noujaim has been instrumental not only during Louvre Abu Dhabi’s path to the opening but also for the conception of the scientific and cultural project. We are confident that she will also contribute substantially to the museum’s future success.”

Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of Musée du Louvre, commented: “Over more than four years, within the Agence France-Muséums scientific team, during the prefiguration phase of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Souraya Noujaim has constantly demonstrated her commitment to the project as a whole and, in particular, for the conception of the museum galleries she was in charge of. She has an in-depth knowledge of the challenges inherent to the recent creation of the first universal museum in the Arab world. That’s also a choice driven by continuity and mutual trust between the French and Emirati parties in order to enable Louvre Abu Dhabi to excel globally in the scientific field.”

Dr. Noujaim’s appointment underscores the museum’s commitment to building an exemplary scholarly team to manage its distinguished and growing collection and presentations of artworks in its galleries and includes working in close collaboration with the teams of Agence France-Muséums.

The museum’s expanding collection of exceptional treasures now comprises more than 620 important artworks and artefacts spanning human history around the world, from ancient archaeological finds to decorative arts, neoclassical sculptures, paintings by modern masters, and contemporary installations.

About Souraya Noujaim
Souraya Noujaim began her career at Musée du Louvre and has since worked for major cultural institutions. As part of the “Grand Louvre” project, she took part in the opening of the first Islamic Art Department rooms of Musée du Louvre and in landmark exhibitions at Musée du Louvre and Grand Palais. She later worked for the British Museum to participate in the study of the collection of weights and measures in the Arabic section of the Department of Coins and Medals. She has taught at the École du Louvre for several years where in 2013 she held the Islamic Art History chair. Dr. Noujaim has organised numerous educational and cultural outreach programmes at Musée du Louvre and Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA). She is notably the author of the Catalogue raisonné de la collection d’estampilles, poids forts et autres disques en verre du Musée du Louvre (RMN) and she regularly speaks in colloquia and symposia.

Souraya Noujaim holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Art History and Archaeology, with a degree in Museum studies and postgraduate research diplomas from École du Louvre and Paris-Sorbonne University. She has also studied Arab Islamic civilisation at the INALCO. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the poems of the Nasrid palaces of the Alhambra.

At Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dr. Noujaim coordinated the Scientific and Cultural Programme under the direction of Jean-François Charnier for the section of the museum exploring medieval times and was the lead curator specialising in Islamic art for the entire narrative and the mediation tools. Her expertise was fundamental to major Islamic acquisitions for Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection, including the Page of the Blue Quran made of gold on parchment from North Africa in about 900 CE, the bronze Mari-Cha lion from Spain or Southern Italy dating to 1000–1200 CE, the Turban helmet dating to 1450–1500 CE, and the Turkish Ushak carpet with medallions from 1480. She oversaw the restoration of the Ottoman octagonal fountain and its flooring from the Louvre Abu Dhabi collection.