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Images of extravagance and luxury are central to depictions of the Gulf states. The Louvre Abu Dhabi's latest exhibition, "10,000 Years of Luxury," examines the historic fascination with opulence and explores its development into how people consume it today. The show's six chapters cover key stages in the development and changing perceptions of luxury over the centuries."The Origins of Luxury," the first chapter, commences with the "Abu Dhabi Pearl" -- said to be the world's oldest found pearl, dated circa 5800-5600 B.C., discovered on Marawah Island in 2017 -- and an antique pearl necklace that belonged to Egyptian diva Oum Kalthoum. Ancient practices and objects of luxury, which Gabet said was largely focused on precious metals and stones, were reserved for sacred rituals and expressions of sovereign power."Roads to Luxury," the second chapter, moves into the Middle Ages and the role of the maritime luxury trade in bringing rare materials into the market, such as chiseled copper items from the Middle East and 15th-century Italian velvet bearing Ottoman designs.Chapter three, "Beyond Luxury," explores the 17th and 18th centuries, when luxury became more accessible.Following the excess of the 18th and 19th centuries, people reverted to simplicity in the 20th.
Picturing pines and posies
An homage to a nearby homeland
Capturing women’s quiet courage
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