The second installment of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s contribution to the restoration of the Château de Fontainebleau’s Imperial Theatre has seen the launch of the final phase of restorative works. In recognition of Abu Dhabi’s contribution to the restoration, the theatre was renamed as the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theatre.
As part of the agreement between the Government of Abu Dhabi and France in 2007, part of which concerned the Louvre Abu Dhabi project, the contribution allows for the restoration of the theatre thanks to the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. The first phase of the restoration was completed in April 2014 and saw the rejuvenation of the main auditorium with 25 specialists and 135 craftsmen working on site, reviving the theatre’s original décor. The second phase of renovation will begin in June 2017 with the focus turning to certain machinery, the upper levels of the salons and the podium upon which one of the most important stage sets in France has been preserved. In spring 2019, the public will be able to experience this Second Empire architectural masterpiece in its entirety. The theatre was exquisitely designed by Hector Lefuel for the Imperial family between 1853 and 1856, and was used by Napoléon III on no more than a dozen occasions, before its doors were closed for over a century, thus preserving it in its original state.
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