The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has omitted Qatar from a world map exhibited at a recently opened Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, according to a veteran observer of Gulf affairs.
In an analysis piece written earlier this week entitled “The UAE/Qatar rivalry is escalating”, the Washington Institute’s Simon Henderson noted that a large map of the world featured at the museum “completely omits” the nation of Qatar.
“In the children’s section of Abu Dhabi’s new flagship Louvre Museum, a map of the southern Gulf completely omits the Qatari peninsula — a geographical deletion that is probably incompatible with France’s agreement to let Abu Dhabi use the Louvre’s name,” Henderson wrote.
Many Twitter users were seen criticising this action which contradicts international norms and decency. There is no comment yet from the Louvre Museum authorities.
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy & Associate Fellow, Chatham House and author Kristian Ulrichsen tweeted a photo from the museum saying “Here is the map from an exhibit in the Louvre Abu Dhabi that omits the Qatari peninsula from the Lower Gulf.”
To which, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, commented saying “Throughout history museums were a source of reference. People would visit to acquire knowledge and learn about world cultures through the exploration of objects on display. Although the notion of museums is a new one to Abu Dhabi, surely the @MuseeLouvre is not okay with this?”
Many people including President of Qatar Olympic Committee HE Sheikh Joan bin Hamad Al Thani and H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad have tweeted quoting Ulrichsen’s tweet.
A Twitter user from UAE also wondered over the social media that “The children’s section in the Louvre Abu Dhabi offers a map of the Arabian Gulf without the name of Qatar. This way we educate our children!”
Last year, the UAE paid France’s iconic Louvre Museum a whopping $520 million for the use of its name in its own Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, which finally opened its doors last November after a five-year delay.