The unjust gesture from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of omitting Qatar from a map exhibited at the recently opened Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, has drawn widespread condemnation.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported that 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.
The issue was highlighted on Friday by Kristian Ulrichsen, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and associate fellow, Chatham House, who tweeted a picture of the map accompanying an exhibit, a vase: “Here is the map from an exhibit in the Louvre Abu Dhabi that omits the Qatari pensinsula from the Lower Gulf.”
To which HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al -Thani tweeted: “Entirely our fault. We were a little behind on updating the map.” He then posted the picture of the map tweeted by Ulrichsen, but superimposed with the image of the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Qatar Museums chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani tweeted “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?”
Last year, the UAE paid France’s iconic Louvre Museum a whopping $520mn 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.
It was on June 5 that the UAE -- along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain -- abruptly severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.
Qatar, for its part, vehemently denies the allegations, describing attempts to isolate it by its fellow Arab states as a violation of international law.
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