NGV International: A Million Reasons To Visit
Arts Minister Mary Delahunty today welcomed the one millionth visitor to the National Gallery of Victoria’s St Kilda Road building since re-opening last December.
Ms Delahunty marked the occasion by presenting a five-year Gallery membership gift to the one millionth person through the door. The presentation was made to Eric Yeap, 33, a physiotherapist from Box Hill South, who attended the Gallery today with wife Leonie, 31, and three-year-old son Benjamin.
Ms Delahunty said the astounding success of NGV International at St Kilda Road was an example of the Victorian community’s long-standing affection for the institution and the pride they take in it, and its support for the NGV’s exciting visual arts program.
“Since 4 December, one million people from all over Australia and the world have come through the Gallery’s entrance at St Kilda Road. Many have come to see the building; many have come to see the Collection. And, as we are currently observing with The Impressionists, many are visiting to see the world-class exhibitions of great depth and quality, with 25 per cent of visits from people outside Victoria,” she said.
Ms Delahunty paid tribute to Italian architect Mario Bellini and the Melbourne architect team Métier3 for the successful re-development of Sir Roy Grounds’ masterpiece.
“For more than 30 years, this building has been a much-loved Melbourne icon, and I am delighted that this inspired renovation means the NGV can offer its visitors the very best in 21st century facilities and design.”
Ms Delahunty also paid tribute to the NGV’s Council of Trustees, the Director of the NGV, Dr Gerard Vaughan, NGV staff and volunteers.
Since NGV International opened in December 2003, many outstanding exhibitions have been staged in the building, complementing the NGV’s own collection of international art works. These exhibitions include: world rush_4 artists; a survey of work by the building’s principal architect Mario Bellini; Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and his world; international photographer Guy Bourdin; and those currently on display, The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay, and Man Ray.
Minister Delahunty said the $168 million re-development had greatly enhanced the NGV’s ability to present exhibitions. It also enabled the Gallery to offer more diverse programs.
Since The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square first opened in November, 2002 nearly four million people have visited the National Gallery of Victoria.