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Sultan bin Tahnoun receives premier French Cultural honour

posted on 31/05/2010: 712 views



Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and of Tourism Development '&' Investment Company (TDIC) yesterday received the premier cultural honour of the Republic of France from the country's Culture Minister, Fredric Mitterrand.

The French Republic has made Sheikh Sultan a Commander of the prestigious L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres recognising his significant contribution to the enrichment of French and international cultural inheritance.

Commander is the highest order in the accolade and is presented to only 20 recipients every year.

"Sheikh Sultan's leadership in securing a 30-year cultural accord with France which includes 30-year rights to the Louvre name has been far-sighted and will, in the long term, benefit culture and art lovers worldwide, many of whom will venture to this emirate when the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors," said Minister Mitterrand.

The presentation came as the Minister visited Al Ain, the emirate's cultural heartland where Sheikh Sultan, who also chairs the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture '&' Heritage (ADACH), showed him around the renovated Al Jahili Fort. The 119-year-old fort, sensitively restored by ADACH, is one of the UAE's most historic buildings and the birthplace of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the country and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

"This is a very welcome recognition of the strides Abu Dhabi has taken in developing, on Saadiyat Island, a cultural asset which will belong to the people of the UAE, the Middle East and the world," said Sheikh Sultan. "It is, however, an honour that owes much to the vision of the emirate's rulers, most notably Their Highnesses Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Executive Council Chairman, who laid the groundwork for the transformation of Saadiyat Island and the creation of its Cultural District".

Abu Dhabi is creating the world's single largest concentration of world-class cultural institutions in Saadiyat Island's Cultural District including the Louvre Abu Dhabi which is to open in 2013.

During his visit to Al Ain, Minister Mitterrand paid a courtesy call to His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region before visiting Al Ain Museum, the Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis and returning to Abu Dhabi to take in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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