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Major Grant Gives Certainty to Auck Art Gallery

Major government grant gives certainty to redevelopment of Auckland Art Gallery

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that the Labour-led Government is making a grant of $30 million to the Auckland Art Gallery's major redevelopment project.

Helen Clark said the grant is being made from the fund established in the 2000/2001 financial year to support the Government's Regional Museums Policy for Capital Construction Projects. Grants are made for development and redevelopment projects where the collections held by the museum or gallery concerned are of national significance.

"The Auckland Art Gallery was the first public art gallery to be established in New Zealand, and is without doubt one of the most important cultural institutions in our country. It has very strong historical and contemporary art collections," Helen Clark said.

"The Gallery holds close to 14,000 New Zealand and international art works, including those which reflect key influences on New Zealand artists over the decades and showcase the cutting edge of New Zealand's artistic expression. “The present gallery space, however, allows only about four per cent of the collection to be shown at any one time; working conditions for gallery staff are poor; and the gallery's heritage building needs considerable earthquake strengthening.

"The Gallery's redevelopment will

increase the floor space for exhibitions and events by fifty per cent

dedicate more space to New Zealand art

undertake major remedial work on the Gallery's heritage building which has a Category 1 listing with the Historic Places Trust, and

add exciting contemporary architecture and design to the Gallery

"Auckland Art Gallery is also a significant economic and tourism asset for Auckland. The redevelopment is expected over time to attract more than twice as many visitors per annum, with the numbers estimated to reach 450,000 a year.”

Helen Clark said that the government grant will be spread over four years, with an initial grant of $20,391 million in 2007/08.

"The scale of the Auckland Art Gallery's redevelopment project is such that it could not proceed without significant funding from the Labour-led Government," Helen Clark said.

The government funding of $30 million (excluding GST) contributes towards the estimated $96.4 million (excluding GST) project. Auckland City Council has set aside $33 million and the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation has already raised more than $15 million towards its $33.4 million fundraising target from the community.

ends

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