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26 November 2009
Arts Minister Peter Garrett today opened a major refurbishment to the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition spaces, including a dedicated gallery for Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series.
Mr Garrett said the new exhibition spaces are the culmination of a four year refurbishment program of the interior of the National Gallery of Australia.
“These renovations promise a whole new and exciting visitor experience at the National Gallery, bringing to light some of the formerly hidden treasures in the national collection.
"The new galleries and display spaces are an exciting addition to the National Gallery of Australia, showcasing the stunning Ned Kelly paintings and Polynesian and Melanesian galleries.
“They also give Australians and international visitors the opportunity to see a range of photographic, jewellery and costume exhibitions drawn from the national collection", Mr Garrett said.
“The NGA is home to Australia’s largest art collection and it’s important to ensure that as much of the collection as possible is accessible to the public.
“Improvements to the back-of-house facilities at the Gallery will also assist in the delivery of the high-quality exhibitions for which the Gallery is renowned,” Mr Garrett said.
“Behind the new public spaces there is vastly improved infrastructure, including a new quarantine space and art loading dock, better access and safety facilities, and an upgraded air conditioning system.”
The Australian Government is providing $61.8 million towards the total cost of Stage One of the building refurbishment with the remaining renovations to be completed next year including the opening of a new main entrance, a dedicated Indigenous gallery, multi-purpose education and orientation space and revamped retail facilities.