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The “Home of the Kings” returns to its former glory thanks to a donation from the United Arab Emirates

Photo credit : Twitter / @CFontainebleau

A 19th-century French theater that has fallen into disuse for more than a century has recently been restored to its former glory thanks to a €10 million donation from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

The renovation is finished, and it looks brand new again. The Napoleon III Theatre of the Fontainebleau Palace has recently regained its splendor after more than a decade of renovation. If this 19th-century French theatre has long remained abandoned, a generous donation of 10 million euros from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism will enable it to reopen soon under the name “Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theatre”.

A name change in honor of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates, who during a state visit to France in 2017 offered to help restore this obsolete theatre.

“The true home of kings, the house of centuries” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Thanks to meticulous work on this “royal residence” built between 1853 and 1856, about 80% of the original materials and gilded ornaments were preserved during the work. The main objective of the renovation was to remove hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead, which were originally used in the construction of the palace.

After its inauguration, soon to be hosted by the French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, and attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the theatre will host small performances and recitals on special occasions. Regular guided tours will also allow visitors to discover the site, including scenery and backstage.