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NSW Government funding to advance plans for the transformation of the Gallery

NSW Government provides $10.8 million over next two years

Aerial view of Art Gallery of NSW site

18 June 2013

The Art Gallery of NSW (Gallery) today welcomed the State Government’s decision to provide $10.8 million in 2014/15 which will enable the Gallery over the next two years to advance plans for the transformation of the Gallery and proceed with the next stages of planning for major works.

The funding will include feasibility and engineering studies, leading to a national and international competition for the selection of an architect to design the new building.

The master plan and strategic vision for the Gallery, titled Sydney Modern, was announced in March and proposes to transform the Gallery into a museum for the 21st century with a major expansion to double the size of the building and a renewed focus on serving a global audience.

The President of the Board of Trustees of the Gallery, Mr Steven Lowy AM, said the NSW Government’s funding was a decisive step forward for the overall proposal.

We believe we’ve made a sound case for the Sydney Modern expansion and are delighted that the Government has agreed to support this critical next phase of planning, he said.

It is important not just because of the cultural benefits that would flow from the expansion, but for the major economic impact it would contribute to the State for decades to come.

Sydney Modern would link the existing Gallery with a new iconic building making the most of the internationally significant site and its proximity to Sydney Harbour.

The Director of the Gallery, Dr Michael Brand, said the Sydney Modern expansion would feature new dynamic spaces for major exhibitions and collection displays including additional space for a broader experience of Aboriginal art and culture, a cinematheque, learning centre, expanded restaurants, cafes and events spaces, and a roof-top garden and terrace.

It would allow the Gallery to welcome a greater number of visitors from across Australia and around the world, and further increase our international reputation through expanded displays of art and learning opportunities, he said.

Minister for the Arts, the Honourable George Souris said: The NSW Government is delighted to commit to the $10.8 million today which will enable the Gallery to continue with its plans to upgrade this leading New South Wales cultural institution in Sydney. It is a necessary step in the Gallery’s ability to fulfil its role as the State’s principal art museum and to make its contribution to the revitalisation of the State’s economy.

Following the Government’s funding decision Dr Brand said the Gallery will form a Sydney Modern Committee to take carriage of stakeholder consultation, develop the architectural brief, stage the national and international competition and prepare a strategy for a fundraising campaign.

The Gallery aims to complete the project by 2021, the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1871.

Read related release:
Gallery unveils strategic vision and masterplan

Media contact

Susanne Briggs
Tel +61 2 9225 1791
Mob 0412 268 320
susanne.briggs@ag.nsw.gov.au