French President Emmanuel Macron will be joining Arab leaders to inaugurate the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The new museum in the capital of the United Arab Emirates will host the officials on Wednesday evening.
The museum marks a major cultural achievement for the UAE after a decade-long wait and questions about the condition laborers on the project faced.
Artwork at the new Louvre offers a brief history of the world and its major religions, not shying away from Judaism in a country that officially doesn't recognize Israel.
Museum officials say it also serves as a cultural bridge between the East and West. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum sits under a honeycombed dome of eight layers of Arab-style geometric shapes.
Housing 600 works of art, including 300 loaned by 13 French museums for the inaugural year, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is described as the "first universal museum" in the Arab world.
What is known is that Abu Dhabi agreed to pay France $525 million for the use of the "Louvre" name for the next 30 years and six months, plus another $750 million to hire French managers to oversee the 300 loaned works of art. A center at Paris' Louvre now bears the name of the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which was also part of the deal.
During construction, the project faced intense criticism over laborer conditions amid low pay, long hours and the brutal UAE heat. A worker was killed in an accident in 2015 while another died of "natural causes" in 2016, according to Abu Dhabi authorities.
Hundreds working on projects on the island, including the Louvre, also were deported or lost their work visas for launching strikes over their conditions, according to a 2015 Human Rights Watch report. Labor strikes are illegal in the UAE.
Jean-Luc Martinez, the president-director of the Louvre in Paris, contends the museum spoke "very frankly" about laborer conditions. He described the museum as a bridge between Asia, Africa and Europe.
"We are not a European museum," he told the AP. "It's a place to see the world from Abu Dhabi."
The museum also makes a point to put the world's religions side by side.
In one exhibit, a Jewish funerary stele from France in 1250 sits next to a Tunisian Muslim's funerary steel and a Christian archbishop's stone epitaph from Tyre, Lebanon. A painted French stone statue of Virgin and Child stands by a section of a Syrian Quran dating to around 1250, open to a page recounting the night during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims believe the holy book was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
In a darkened room, a page from the Blue Quran, one of the oldest ever found, sits near a Gothic Bible, Buddhist sutras and a Torah from Yemen dating to 1498.
In a Middle East still torn by religious and sectarian conflict, whether between Sunni and Shiite or Israelis and the Palestinians, simply putting them side by side is a major statement.
The museum opens to the public on Saturday.
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