An Early Christmas Present As NGV Reopens
The Premier, Steve Bracks, said the reopening of the transformed National Gallery of Victoria today was a wonderful Christmas present for Victorians. Mr Bracks marked the official opening by turning on the remodelled Waterwall, now a sheer cascade of water uninterrupted by columns. “Not only is the NGV International one of the world’s great art museums, it is a cultural icon for Melbourne and Victoria,” Mr Bracks said. “The Government believes in investing for the future, not just in bricks and mortar, but in the cultural life of our citizens.” Mr Bracks said the $168 million redevelopment of the NGV was the largest redevelopment program of any cultural institution in Australia. He said the State Government had contributed $102 million to the project. Through private and Federal Government sources, the NGV has raised a further $66 million, including contributions from the Commonwealth Government ($25 million) and the Ian Potter Foundation ($15 million.) Mr Bracks said fundraising by the NGV Trustees had ensured the fit out and finish of the gallery was first class. He paid tribute to the generosity of private benefactors including the Clemenger Foundation, the Sidney Myer Foundation, the Myer Family and James Fairfax. “Victorians, interstate and international visitors can now enjoy two world-class art galleries – the NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square – and two world-class collections, free of charge,” he said. “It will mean many people can enjoy the Gallery and the Waterwall over the upcoming holidays.” The Minister for the Arts, Mary Delahunty, said providing access to quality and inspiring cultural experiences was at the heart of the Government’s arts policy, Creative Capacity Plus, Arts for All Victorians, released earlier this year. “NGV International will be a place to inspire, engage and educate and will provide an important access point for community engagement with the arts,” Ms Delahunty said. “The Gallery’s capacity to engage and inspire schoolchildren from around Victoria will be helped enormously by the improved facilities, superb new lecture theatre spaces and art studios.” Ms Delahunty said the opening of NGV International brought Victoria’s cultural precinct one-step closer to completion. She congratulated those who had been instrumental in delivering the ambitious project, including the President, NGV Council of Trustees, Steve Vizard, past and current NGV Trustees, NGV Director Dr Gerard Vaughan, Deputy Director (International) Tony Ellwood, NGV staff, architect Mario Bellini, architectural firm Metier 3, construction company Baulderstone and all those who worked on the site, Major Projects Victoria and Arts Victoria.