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Len Lye Centre gets the green light!

Media Release

28 June 2006

Len Lye Centre gets the green light!

New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre received the green light yesterday from New Plymouth District councillors. The council agreed that external funds would cover the estimated $10m construction of the Centre, while committing to support the $683,000 annual net operating costs from year four of the Community Plan, with an expectation that council officers will minimise ratepayer input as much as possible.

Len Lye Foundation Chair John Matthews says: “I am thrilled with the Council’s decision to fund the net operating costs of the Len Lye Centre as it now means we can begin fundraising immediately to build the Centre.”

The Len Lye Centre would be New Zealand’s only single artist museum, featuring a programme of dynamic exhibitions of the full range of Lye’s work in sculpture, painting, film, photography and creative writing. Temporary exhibitions featuring other modern and contemporary artists, and a cinema to show Lye’s work alongside other independent filmmakers are also planned. Beyond the walls of the Centre, large public sculptures created by the Len Lye Foundation based on Lye’s concepts and drawings may also grace the New Plymouth District as a result of the council’s decision.

Len Lye Committee Chair, Barry Finch comments: “With the Council’s support we can now move forward with the Len Lye Centre project and ensure New Plymouth becomes the world centre for the care, display, research and development of the works and ideas of Len Lye, an extraordinary thinker and visionary artist.”

New Plymouth as the world centre for the care, display, research and development of Len Lye will benefit the region greatly and will further advance New Plymouth’s reputation as a culturally vibrant city and destination, distinguishing it from other cities in New Zealand. The establishment of the Centre is made with expectations of significant returns to the community, it is predicted that if the Centre attracted an extra 20,000 visitors to New Plymouth each year, it would increase the tourism spend in the region by $2 million per annum.

The Len Lye Foundation, in partnership with New Plymouth District Council and museum leadership from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery are key to the development of the Len Lye centre. Currently work is being done to secure public and private investment, and a rigorous fundraising campaign to build the Centre is in its early development stages.

ENDS

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