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Funding For New Art Gallery Announced

Prime Minister and Minister for Art, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark recently announced that the government would contribute $6.2 million (net worth) towards the new Christchurch Art Gallery.

She said that the new gallery would be a major arts and economic asset for Canterbury and would contribute directly to tourism earnings in the region.

The Director of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Tony Preston, was invited to Wellington by the Prime minister to receive the good news. The lump sum assistance for the gallery project was given under the 'Policy for Government Assistance towards Capital Projects at Regional Museums'.

The government's contribution represents 13 percent of the overall cost of the project. This was warranted on the basis of the importance of Christchurch Art Gallery's permanent collections, the benefit to the public from the improved access to the collections, and the improved storage conditions.

The $6.474m contribution will go towards the total $13,050,000 funding figure sought for the new gallery. Gifts and grants raised in Canterbury have so far raised $5.9m.

"None of this would have been achieved without the indefatigable commitment of our fundraising committees, and our very generous donors, our corporate sponsors and the Community Trust. They are all to be congratulated - and thanked - for the $5.9m already raised," says Tony Preston. Sponsors include Versatile Buildings, Montana Wines, Glass Tower Public Relations, Deloitte Touche Tomatsu, Perpetual Trust, Chapman Tripp and Strategy Advertising & Design.

The Christchurch City Council is the Key provide of the $47.5 million cost of the gallery and land. Excavation of the site will commence in October, with the project due for completion at the end of March 2003.

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