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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

World famous masterpieces from Paris unveiled in Canberra

Media release
3 December 2009

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett today congratulated the National Gallery of Australia on being the first gallery in the world outside France to host an exhibition of exceptional works from the Musee d'Orsay, including works from Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne.

Arts Minister Garrett said hosting Masterpieces from Paris is a terrific coup for the National Gallery of Australia that confirms its place as Australia's pre-eminent art gallery.

"It is a great credit to the director Ron Radford, the council and staff that the Musée d'Orsay has selected the National Gallery as one of just three galleries in the world to host Masterpieces from Paris," Mr Garrett said.

"Australians will have with the opportunity to come face to face with some of the most famous works of modern art by French masters including Claude Monet and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. This is a once-in-a lifetime chance for Australians to see for themselves these iconic works that are visited by millions of people in Paris every year.

"I expect there will be record-breaking visitor numbers to Masterpieces from Paris, and its success will help affirm Australia as a major cultural centre in the region.

"I encourage all Australians to make the trip to Canberra this summer to see this extraordinary exhibition. The exhibition's display during Christmas and Easter will make it possible for Australians to plan a trip during the holidays or on weekends over the next four months."

Mr Garrett said The Australian Government's indemnity scheme has made it possible for the works in Masterpieces from Paris, valued at over $1.5 billion, to travel to Australia.

Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond, Post-Impressionism from the Musée d'Orsay opens at the National Gallery of Australia on 4 December 2009 and closes on 5 April 2010. More information at 

Commonwealth of Australia