Abu Dhabi Donates 10m Euros to Restore French Palace

29 April 2007

PARIS — The Abu Dhabi government will provide funds for restoration of the famous Chateau de Fontainebleau in France, according to an agreement signed here yesterday.

Under the directives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and instructions by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority (ADCH), and Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (Adta), the agreement was signed to provide a sum of 10 million euros for renovating the historical palace.

French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, ADCH deputy chairman Zaki Nusaibah, Adta’s Director-General Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi and UAE Ambassador to France Saif Sultan Al Ariani were present at the agreement signing ceremony.

According to the agreement, the Napoleon III Theatre shall be renamed Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theatre in appreciation of his contribution and support to culture. A plaque bearing the name of Shaikh Khalifa was unveiled after the ceremony.

“The initiative of Shaikh Khalifa to restore the historical palace is his gift to France in recognition of the cultural and enlightenment roles it plays across the world and in the Middle East in particular," Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun said.

“This agreement is a proof of the deep-rooted cultural and tourism relations between the UAE and France. We consider it as an additional pillar of out bilateral relations. This agreement will open new horizons for cultural, tourism and scientific cooperation,” he added.

“Chateau de Fontainebleau is not only one of the landmarks of French history and heritage, it is a universal human legacy that has to be preserved," remarked Zaki Nusaibah.

“Shaikh Khalifa’s initiative is part of a long history of cooperation between France and the UAE and is set to be followed by other cultural partnership," he added.
Donnedieu expressed gratitude to Shaikh Khalifa for his interest and generous patronage of efforts to preserve the French heritage.

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