Final outer piece of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s jigsaw canopy put in place

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Final outer piece of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s jigsaw canopy put in place
The last piece of the outer roof is put into place at the Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site on Saadiyat Island. Christopher Pike / The National

Fly over the Louvre Abu Dhabi today and you would think the job was complete, after the final piece of cladding was lowered into place on the upper surface of the mighty roof.

So it was for good reason that workers and designers – even the museum’s renowned architect Jean Nouvel – were there to cheer as the final piece was fitted.

It is a jigsaw puzzle that has taken more than 30 million man hours and 424 days to complete, and was finished with a mix of expert crane driving, complex choreography, brute strength and heavy engineering.

The underside of the dome’s cladding may still be a work in progress but among the many milestones so far, this was big.

Accompanying Nouvel at the ceremony were Ali Al Mansouri and Sufian Al Marzooqi, the chairman and the chief executive of the Tourism Development and Investment Company, the project’s developer.

The three rode in the cradle of a crane suspended over the stainless steel and aluminium roof.

Below, a small crowd from the museum’s design, construction and development teams gathered for a moment of celebration, posing for photos as the final piece was lowered into place. []