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Australia’s largest contemporary art gallery to open as part of expanded NGV

Australia’s largest contemporary art gallery to open as part of expanded NGV
June 3, 2018

The Victorian Government’s ongoing commitment to cultural attractions has today seen the announcement that it is to fund plans to build the largest contemporary art gallery in Australia.

To be built at the Carlton and United Breweries site, behind the Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), as part of a new arts precinct in Southbank, the new gallery will be known as NGV Contemporary.

Announcing that the new gallery will cement Victoria as a global leader in the arts world, Victoian Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley today stated “the National Gallery of Victoria is one of the world's top 20 contemporary art museums and now we'll have an opportunity to have a dedicated contemporary art facility.

"This is all about re-imagining this whole arts precinct, opening up Southbank … and setting us up to be not only the sports capital of our nation, but the cultural capital.

"This is a very, very exciting project ... and it's not a question of whether it will happen, this is going to happen and the first stage is fully funded."

The Victorian Government allocated about $150 million in the May budget to buy the Carlton and United Breweries site and start planning works and will invest $208 million over two years in the first phase of the project, to kick-start planning and enable the NGV and Arts Centre Melbourne to begin raising philanthropic funds for the revitalisation.

The redevelopment, involving about 18,000 metre²of new and renewed public space, hopes to improve links between Southbank and the city's main arts centres - enabling visitors to move seamlessly from Southbank and the Yarra, through Melbourne’s iconic St Kilda Road cultural institutions.

The project will also upgrade theatres and public spaces at the Arts Centre Melbourne, and transform 1 City Road into a new creative hub in the heart of the city.

The hub will be home to the Australian Performing Arts Gallery, an expanded Australian Music Vault, administrative, education and research facilities, and a new centre for small-to-medium and independent arts organisations.

Announcing the new art space, NGV Director Tony Ellwood said he was the "happiest gallery director in Australia right now", adding “this means an enormous amount for Victoria.

"To actually really capitalise on the strength in numbers around contemporary art and design and to create a building of this magnitude, with this kind of vision, really consolidates our position as the leader in the arts in this country."

The Arts Centre Melbourne and NGV together attract more than six million visitors every year.

Ellwood advised that the recent Triennial at the NGV drew almost 1.3 million visitors, with 20,000 visitors going through the gallery on some days.

Images: Artist's impression of the new NGV Contemporary art gallery.

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