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Upgraded Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery reopened

Upgraded Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery reopened
April 2, 2013

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has reopened following a $30 million redevelopment project.

The new project involved more than doubling the historic waterfront museum's display space, including a dedicated facility for travelling exhibitions that will enable TMAG to host international exhibitions of a standard never before seen in Tasmania.

It also offers expanded public and education program areas, new spaces to showcase more of TMAG's state collection and includes disabled access to the institution's four heritage-listed buildings for the first time.

Sydney-based architectural firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, designed the new spaces focussing on contemporary architecture that is also sympathetic to the heritage and character of the site and the waterfront setting.

The redevelopment focused on the restoration and refurbishment of TMAG's heritage buildings in order to create new and refreshed exhibitions spaces.

A new visitor entrance was also created that highlights the historic Watergate as a central feature of the courtyard space, surrounded by heritage buildings on one side, and a new building housing a cafe and program-delivery facility on the other.

Having closed its doors in November, Tasmanian Minister for the Arts Lara Giddings welcomed the reopening, stating "this redevelopment is the realisation of the largest government investment in cultural infrastructure in Tasmania's history.

"Tasmanians have enjoyed their state museum and art gallery for the last 150 years, what visitors will see when they arrive at the new museum paves the way for the next 150 years."

The reopening, on Friday 15th March, coincided with the first day of the Tasmania's biennial arts festival, Ten Days on the Island, and saw more than 14,000 people visit the Museum.

The renovations are the first stage of a planned - but as yet unfunded $200 million 'redevelopment vision' for TMAG, including a raised roof and mezzanine in its central gallery and a further 2,000 metre² of extra gallery space featuring six newly curated exhibitions.

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