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Mr. Trudeau, the arts
ball is in your court
CANADA — Getting rid of Stephen Harper is cause enough for celebration in the arts world. But if we are lucky, Trudeau's triumph on Monday night could mean much more than that. It could trigger a golden age of Canadian arts and culture. Unlike the Ford brothers and their pal Harper, our new Prime Minister understands in his bones how crucial arts, culture and education are in shaping our inclusive and multicultural identity — and how we can use our artistic achievements to show the world who we are. Suggested reading for Trudeau: Cities, Museums and Soft Power, a book co-edited earlier this year by globally renowned, Toronto-based museum consultant Gail Dexter Lord. It explains how instead of relying on economic or military power, we can use the achievements of museums, artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and performers to influence the rest of the world and enhance our place in it. Economic benefits are sure to follow.
The book "Cities, Museums and Soft Power" by Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg demonstrates why and how museums and cities are using their soft power to address some of the most important issues of our time. The book includes essays written by 14 cultural experts, drawing on museums in cities in Italy, Spain, the UK, China, Egypt, India, Canada, the USA and others. Soft power is the exercise of influence through attraction, persuasion and agenda-setting rather than military or economic coercion. "Cities, Museums and Soft Power" can be ordered online.
Hands-On Museums Empower Children and Youth — Amsterdam Conference
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Gail Lord, Co-President, Lord Cultural Resources, took the podium at the 2015 Hands On! Conference in Amsterdam, Oct. 13-16. Before an audience of innovators and royalty — Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands — she ignited the conversation about how museums can use their soft power to inspire the next generation. "We live in a knowledge economy," said Lord, "a time when innovation and creativity rank alongside efficiency as desirable qualities." Akanksha Jain, Design Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources, gave an excellent presentation on how the Children's Gallery at the Bihar Museum in Patna, India, is embracing the more open and interactive model. Touch-tables, zero barriers, and interactive exhibits all allow children visiting the Museum to engage with content in a more meaningful way. By giving these children somewhere to learn, the Museum is preparing Bihar's next generation.
Maxima Attends Hands On! 2015 Conference in Amsterdam
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Queen Maxima battled the elements on Tuesday as she was caught in a blustery breeze at the Rijksmuseum. Her Majesty was on hand to officially open the tenth edition of the Hands On! Conference in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The event is organised by the International Association of Children in Museums and aims to improve the accessibility for children worldwide to museums. Maxima, who was in high spirits as always, also attended Gail Lord's keynote speech. Lord is Co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, the world's leading cultural planning firm, and discussed the 'soft power' of museums and the importance of children's education.
Gail Lord, Co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, and museum professionals from across the globe gathered at the Hands On! Conference on October 13-16, 2015 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to discuss the latest developments in children’s education in museums, children’s museums and science centers. This year's conference theme was "Touch and Learn" and it pondered questions that museums worldwide are currently facing: How can museums touch the hearts and minds of children?
New "Soft Power Leaders Think Tank"
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — A new "Soft Power Leaders Think Tank" was launched that will link travel, art and culture with climate response and sustainable development. In a new initiative, announced in London today at the Leading Cultural Destination Awards, the SUN Program linked with Leading Cultural Destinations and Lord Cultural Resources to establish a Soft Power Leaders Think Tank. Professor Geoffrey Lipman, the curator of SUN - Strong Universal Network - and President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) said that he was delighted to build this important collaboration with recognized experts in the art and cultural field, which is so important to community lifestyles. "Our partners' knowledge and relationships will add a vital dimension to our work to support travel and tourism destinations as they adapt to climate change targets and sustainable development goals. The Soft Power Leaders Think Tank will help to deliver better understanding, governance, metrics, and education through community lifestyle engagement."
[see also The Marrakech Museum wins Africa's Best Cultural Destination, CP Africa, 21 October 2015]
The Leading Cultural Destination Awards billed as "The Oscars for Museums" is the first and only global awards ceremony to celebrate the best not-for-profit arts institutions around the world. On October 9, 2015, an international jury of creative leaders, cultural enthusiasts, and arts lovers convened in London, U.K. to award the efforts of the world's leading culture destinations.
The humanity of the Chicago
CHICAGO, USA — As anticipation rumbled towards the opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, excitement and reservation came hand in hand. The eclectic mix of over 120 participating firms, coming from over 30 countries, made the snapshot of the profession appear, depending on your side of the spectrum, as a vibrant collage full of diverse applications, or frayed and vacillating. But after its opening on October 3, it's clear that the criticisms dealing in this binary miss the point – the Biennial is more about architects than it is about architecture. But more on that later – the most prominent participant in the Biennial is, of course, the city. Under the imposing shadow of the city of Chicago, the Biennial has had to situate itself alongside the shoulders of such giant architectural benchmarks as the birth of elevators, skyscrapers, the discipline of city planning, and a modernist legacy told through more Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe buildings than you can shake a selfie-stick at. The city that literally rose from the ashes under Daniel Burnham's "Make no little plans" ethos can't plan to host a Biennial that is any less ambitious, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is betting big on its success.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial was a key recommendation of the Chicago Cultural Plan facilitated by Lord Cultural Resources and led by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCASE) in 2012. Launched by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it was the city's first Cultural Plan in over 25 years.
Plans to Expand Heritage Centre
GRAVENHURST, ON, CANADA — Plans are afoot to revitalize and expand the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst. The proposal is to incorporate more water into the theme of the popular attraction, which, surprisingly, is not something currently explored specifically, even though the centre has extensive exhibits on steamships, wooden boats and resorts, and boasts an exclusive in-water boathouse. "The theme of expansion or the revitalization of the centre would be an overlaying theme of water, which is not something we currently explore in our exhibits," said John Miller, president of Muskoka Steamship & Historical Society. "Everything of course is related to water, absolutely, because it's boating and resorts and things like that but water hasn't really been a focus of ours and we want to make it one because of the obvious connection."
The Muskoka Steamship & Historical Society, who operates Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre along with the operation of the iconic Muskoka steamers (MSA) Segwun and Wenonah II in Gravenhurst, Ontario, comissioned Lord Cultural Resources in partnership with Moriyama and Teshima Architects to conduct this Feasibility Study and Architectural Concept Design for a revitalized and expanded museum that will become the Muskoka Discovery Centre (MDC)
Coming Soon: A Jimi Hendrix Museum
LONDON, UK — Until recently, Jimi Hendrix's old flat in London was being used as an office by Handel House Trust, but the group just refurbished the space to the tune of $3.7 million. Hendrix bought the apartment in 1968, just before releasing the Electric Ladyland LP. In 2016, visitors will be able to hang in a near identical living room to the one he shared with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and what Hendrix called "the first real home of my own." Exhibits will include pictures of Hendrix in the flat and the surrounding area, a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, and Etchingham's interior decor. The flat is on the third floor of 23 Brook Street, the same address George Frideric Handel lived at for 26 years in the mid 18th century. The Handel House Trust has promoted knowledge and learning about Handel for years, and the Hendrix Museum carries on that legacy for the psychedelic rock icon. "While it has been a pleasure to have been working in Jimi's bedroom for the past few years, it is even more pleasing to be able to throw it open to everybody else," Chairman of the trust, Alistair Stranack says. You can follow the process of transforming the flat form a soul-sucking office into the hotbed of creativity that spawned "Voodoo Chile."
Museums, Always Educational,
Now Confer Degrees
USA — You don't typically expect to go to a museum and come out with a degree in higher education. But the American Museum of Natural History now offers a master of arts in teaching and a Ph.D. in comparative biology. "Many of the most important issues of the day have science as a foundation," said Ellen V. Futter, the museum's director. "There's a real need for a public understanding of these issues and, as a result, a stronger need for more scientists." The programs are part of a larger transformation in the role of museums around the country; education is not just about field trips anymore.
to train Iraqi curators in heritage protection
INTERNATIONAL — The British Museum is to establish a pilot programme with heritage professionals in Iraq to train local museum curators, conservation technicians and archaeologists in heritage protection. In the future, the project, for which the museum has won a £3m government grant, may be able to help tackle disasters such as the recent destruction of ancient monuments in Palmyra, Syria. British Museum staff have been working in Iraq and inviting Iraqi staff to Bloomsbury since the war in 2003, when ancient sites including Babylon were damaged by military occupation and other museums and sites were shelled and looted. Training is urgently needed to cope with the deliberate destruction of world famous sites including Nineveh, Nimrud and Hatra by Islamic State.
Musée des Confluences: Lyon, France's New
LYONS, FRANCE — The Musée des Confluences is an exceptional new museum (even for France), and a welcome new symbol for France’s second largest city, Lyon. Boasting audacious architecture and a breathtaking view, the Musée hosts a number of enticing exhibits and temporary exhibitions. Located at the gateway to the city — where Lyon's two rivers, the Rhone and the Saone meet — the Musée des Confluences has rapidly become the newest symbol of the urban area known worldwide as the culinary capital of France. Through its boldness and scope, it embodies the renewal of Lyon, and more specifically of the Lyon-Confluence district where it is located. This area is undergoing a total transformation, fast becoming a showcase for the city of the future.
Museums are letting visitors get to grips
with the exhibits
PARIS, FRANCE — Wherever we go in a museum, the "Don't touch" signs are there. From our childhood we are taught to keep our hands to ourselves. The etymology of the word "visitor" makes it clear that we are only there to see. So the Take Me (I'm Yours) show at Monnaie de Paris is a most unusual proposition. The curators, artist Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of London's Serpentine Gallery, are determined to confront a few taboos, encouraging viewers to pick up objects or, better still, take them home. However sacrilegious it may seem, this is not a new idea; Boltanski and Obrist tested it at the Serpentine in 1995. Boltanski has often used garments and at the Paris exhibition he urges visitors to rummage through heaps of clothes. "They'll think it's a joke," he says with a smile. "A bit like telling children they can eat as much as they like in a cake shop."
Hispanic museum receives
$1.75M in capital funds from NYC
NEW YORK, USA — A New York City museum that holds a world-class collection of Iberian art has received $1.75 million in capital funds from the city. The award to the Hispanic Society of America was made Tuesday in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The museum and research library in Washington Heights has works by such masters as Goya, Velazquez, El Greco and Joaquin Sorolla. The library has 250,000 books, including 15,000 printed before 1701, plus 200,000 manuscripts from the 12th century to the present. Including Tuesday's award, the city has contributed about $3 million for the 111-year-old institution's master plan. The first phase included renovation of the Sorolla gallery. Restoration of the building facade is slated to be finished next month.
MAD's George Lucas Museum Plans
CHICAGO, IL, USA — Chicago City Council members have voted in favour of MAD Architects' controversial design for the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on the shore of Lake Michigan. MAD's proposal for the museum, which will host the private art and memorabilia collection of film director George Lucas, is expected to cost $400 million (£260 million) and features a white tent-like structure with two peaks and a new public space around its base. A viewing platform on the taller of the two peaks will be topped with a halo-like shelter, while cut-away ovals around the bottom will be glazed and provide entrances into the building. Inside, the building will include galleries, screening rooms, and a restaurant with 360-degree views at the top. Local firm Studio Gang, led by architect Jeanne Gang, is also involved in the project and will design a bridge to connect the site to the nearby Northerly Island peninsula. New York-based firm SCAPE is the landscape architect. The project was approved by a majority vote during a Chicago City Council meeting yesterday. It is now expected to begin construction next year, with a completion date of 2019.
Awarded Guinness World Record for Largest 3D Printed Structure
BEIJING, CHINA — Guinness World Records has awarded the title of "largest 3D printed structure" to VULCAN, a temporary pavilion designed by the Beijing-based Laboratory for Creative Design (LCD). Made up of 1023 individually printed segments, the structure was 9.08 meters long and 2.88 meters tall, and took 30 days to print and a further 12 days to assemble. The pavilion was on display earlier this month at Beijing Design Week, located in Beijing's Parkview Green retail center. Named after the Roman god of fire, according to the architects "VULCAN symbolizes a sense of fear of and respect for the unpredictable forces of nature, while suggesting the fragility and courage of human civilization." The structure is based on LCD's research into the spatial form of cocoons, resulting in the delicate filaments criss-crossing many the of the panels. The design was also eminently practical, able to be split into three smaller parts enabling a range of different programs to take place inside. "VULCAN represents a new reality - that modern architects are able to achieve their ideal design quality from concept to construction using digital design and fabrication methodologies," explained LCD Architect Yu Lei. "This development will increasingly blur the boundaries between technology and art."
boom 2.0 as construction projects soar
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Dubai is undergoing its "next wave of development" after bouncing back from the 2008 financial crisis. "Wherever you look at the moment in Dubai, you see a lot of ongoing construction," said architect Richard Wagner, who has worked in the city for almost a decade. "We've gone through bust 1.0, now we're into boom 2.0." Dubai's return to economic growth after the crash is fuelling architecture and engineering projects across the United Arab Emirates city. Dubai unveiled proposals for a Museum of the Future in March 2015 These include the construction of a giant canal through the city, which is requiring several road bridges to be built and the reconfiguration of major service pipes. Plans for the world's tallest twin towers, an underwater hotel and a climate-controlled mega resort have also been announced. An entirely new design district, which is known as D3 and is where Wagner's firm Wanders Wagner Architects is now based, opened earlier this year. The second phase of the development includes a dedicated creative village designed by Foster + Partners – due to start work next year.
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia enters final stage of construction
BARCELONA, SPAIN — The Sagrada Família basilica has entered its final stage of construction, over 100 years since its foundation stone was laid and 90 years after its designer Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi died. Six new towers will be added to the Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona, completing work that was begun by Gaudi in 1882. The tallest of the six spires, the Tower of Jesus Christ will measure over 172 metres and make the Sagrada Família the tallest religious building in Europe. Chief architect Jordi Fauli said the structure is on track to complete in 2026 to coincide with the centenary of Gaudi's death. "The central tower of 172.5 meters will make it the tallest cathedral in Europe, because the tallest tower in Europe is Ulm, at 162 meters," Fauli told press during a conference in Barcelona on 21 October.
Frank Gehry's Emotional Architecture
LOS ANGELES,CA, USA — "The Dionysus of Modern Architecture," is how James Cuno, President and CEO of The J. Paul Getty Trust, described architect Frank Gehry when awarding him the third annual J. Paul Getty Award at a lively and elegant event at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on September 28, 2015. Among a well-dressed crowd of some 350 attendees that included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Executive Vice Mayor Rick Jacobs, LA Philharmonic Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as artists Chuck Arnoldi, Larry Bell, Ed Moses, Charles Ray, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger among many other notables from the worlds of art, finance and LA civic life, Mayor Garcetti called Gehry "truly an angel in the city of Angels" for his civic engagement and for architectural gems such as Walt Disney Concert Hall which speak, the mayor said, of Los Angeles' "unlimited freedom, innovation and creativity." Dudamel described Gehry's Disney Hall as a "very magical" space that provides for a spiritual connection. Maria Hummer-Tuttle, the Chair of the Getty's Board of Trustees said, "tonight we honor one of our own" saying of Gehry that his architecture succeeds at "bringing us together in a new way."
Andalusian architect awarded the €50,000 Rafael Manzano Architecture Prize
INTERNATIONAL — In recognition of his contribution to the enrichment and recovery of Andalusian architecture, Australian-born architect Donald Gray will receive the 2015 Rafael Manzano Martos Prize for Classical Architecture and Monument Restoration, presented by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in partnership with the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust. Gray will be presented with 50,000 euros and a commemorative medal on Wednesday (Oct. 28) in Madrid at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. A Spanish citizen based in La Alpujarra, Gray has focused much of his work in Marbella, Malaga and La Alpujarra, sites of outstanding projects such as the Urbanización La Virginia, Las Lomas del Marbella Club, the new City Hall in Pitres and the hotel La Tartana.
Martell Stages First Ever Augmented Reality Exhibition in Singapore
SINGAPORE — The Martell AiR Gallery, Singapore's first augmented reality exhibition of contemporary art made its debut over the weekend, presented against the city-state's iconic skyline. Created by cognac house Martell to celebrate its 300th anniversary in Singapore, as well as the city-state's Golden Jubilee, the exhibition showcases 15 new works by 15 local artists, and is entitled "Zoe — The Art of the Alchemist." With the Martell AiR Gallery app downloaded onto their devices, members of the public can then access and view the artworks at their own time, exhibited against prominent landmarks in the Marina Bay area — such as the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park, and the waters of Marina Bay. The gallery is curated by Singaporean designer Kelley Cheng, who was invited by Martell to Cognac and Versailles to experience the history and heritage of the esteemed ocognac house. One of the main thematic inspirations drawn from her trip was the affinity of the cognac-making process with the Chinese notion of the five elements ("wu xing") — a concept that formed the basic structure of the exhibition.
Robo Tour Guides Are Ready to Roll at Museums
NEW YORK, USA — Three women from Toronto were walking this month in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians, the oldest hall in the American Museum of Natural History, when they spotted a very modern contraption. With puzzled expressions, they stared at a screen mounted on two parallel poles on wheels. Their curiosity turned to surprise when they saw a face on the screen staring back. "If you'd like, I can show you some items in the exhibit?" said Sean Young, whose face was displayed on the telepresence robot. The women agreed and Mr. Young, an intern curator sitting at his computer at the Haida Gwaii Museum in Canada more than 3,000 miles away, directed the robot, a BeamPro SPS, to the right and moved it toward the first artifact in the New York City exhibit. It was the fourth time since this summer that the American Museum of Natural History used telepresence robots to "beam" tour guides who are indigenous people from Haida Gwaii, a remote archipelago off British Columbia’s north coast.
A Look at the Museum of the Future
NEW YORK, USA — During a recent event for kids at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, visitors put on virtual-reality goggles and looked at Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)." As they gazed through their 3-D headsets, splatters of black and white paint appeared to break free from the 1950 canvas and float past their eyes. Children and adults tried to touch the illusion, waving at the images in the air. Museums are flirting with change that may be more revolutionary than at any other point in their history. The forces rocking the technology world—cheaper screens, miniaturized mechanics and increased computing power—are prompting a rich period of experimentation in exhibit design. For museums, such advancements could attract diverse visitors, lure young people and change the way audiences learn about art, science and nature
Technology could augment reality at the Manitoba Museum
MANITOBA, CANADA — Mike Jensen of the Manitoba Museum looks up with glee as a poisonous spider crawls on his thumb, across his hand, and heads straight up his bare arm towards his sleeve. Thankfully it's a digitally created poisonous spider and Jensen's watching it dance around his hand on an iPad—part of an augmented reality (AR) feature included in National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers, a touring exhibit now on at the museum. It's the first time the technology has been used at the Manitoba Museum Jensen thinks it's so cool, it may end up augmenting reality at the museum's permanent exhibits too. "It's definitely something that we've been exploring for our exhibits," said Jensen, the museum's programs supervisor at the Planetarium and the Science Gallery. "One of the things we're always looking to do is enhance how the exhibits interact with the visitors."
Technology and art: Engineering the future
INTERNATIONAL — Think art. What comes to mind? Maybe Picasso, Rodin, Dali. Now think technology - and you'll probably imagine a smartphone or a computer. Throughout history, technology has provided artists with new tools for expression. Today, these two seemingly distinct disciplines are interlinked more than ever, with technology being a fundamental force in the development and evolution of art. All over the world, people are engineering our future. The internet, digital fabrication, nanotech, biotech, self-modification, augmented reality, virtual reality, "the singularity" - you name it, all of this is altering our lives and our view of the world and ourselves.
Before Paddles Are Even Raised, $1 Billion of Art Already Has Buyers
NEW YORK, USA — There’s more than $2.1 billion of art for sale at the New York auctions next month. Almost half of it, including an Andy Warhol painting belonging to billionaire Steven A. Cohen, already has a buyer before the first paddle goes up. When the two-week sales start Nov. 4, $1 billion worth of paintings and sculptures are guaranteed to sell by Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips at minimum prices regardless of what happens in the salesroom. The companies are lining up deep-pocketed backers for the guarantees or financing them with their own money — a risky proposition because they can end up owning the works if there are no takers. "The question is not if the guaranteed work will sell," said Thomas C. Danziger, managing partner at Danziger, Danziger & Muro LLP, who helped structure several guarantees for November. "The only question is at what price and to whom."
London mayor calls for new artists’ studios and cultural spaces
LONDON, UK — As artists continue to be priced out of the UK capital, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has called on developers to include cultural spaces and studios in regeneration schemes in the city. London is due to lose 3,500 artist studios in the next five years—a third of the capital's creative workspaces. A report published by Johnson on 26 October provides guidance for councils, planners, developers and cultural organisations on how the planning process can protect and sustain creative spaces in London, from galleries to workshops, music venues and skateparks. An A-Z of Planning and Culture offers examples of how arts spaces have been successfully incorporated into residential developments such as Matchmakers Wharf in Hackney, east London, which includes 49 affordable artists’ studios. The report also provides information about what people can do using existing planning regulations, including Section 106 agreements, which oblige developers to offset any negative impacts of a development, and turning venues into assets of community value.
The Getty gives an assist to a Hieronymus Bosch blockbuster in the artist's hometown
INTERNATIONAL — The J. Paul Getty Trust, whose grant-making wing has been the catalyst for the ongoing Pacific Standard Time series of region-wide, multi-exhibition looks at art in Southern California, dialed back the clock a bit and jumped a continent to play a part in a blockbuster art show of 2016: "Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius." It opens Feb. 13 at the Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, the artist’s hometown, to mark the 500th anniversary of his death in 1516. The Noordbrabants, a small municipal museum that has no works by Bosch in its own collection, decided to try to bring it all back home by securing loans of as many Bosch paintings and drawings as it could.
Among the major museums that have jumped onboard are the Louvre in Paris, the Prado in Madrid, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Getty has no Bosch works to lend, but its grant-making Getty Foundation stepped in with $250,000 in funding. About half the money helped conserve three key works consisting of multiple wooden panels that are housed in Venice, Italy, at the Gallerie dell’Accadmeia and the Palazzo Grimani.
Year-long culture shows bring together creatives
UNITED KINGDOM — A series of activities across Britain this summer has offered an eclectic mix of Chinese fashion, design, music and dancing to promote the country's colourful culture. Since July, Creative China activities have been lighting up theatres, concert halls and auditoriums nationwide as well as helping to bring together creative industries in both countries. The programme is part of a year-long campaign by the Chinese and British governments to encourage greater cultural exchanges. Geographical distance should be no barrier to cultural exchange "Both countries have a splendid history, strong traditions and are keen on innovation and creation," said Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to Britain. "Geographical distance should be no barrier to cultural exchange."
WAG gets $950,000 for new centre to showcase Inuit art
WINNIPEG, MB, CANADA — The Winnipeg Art Gallery has received a massive grant to support a new Inuit Art Centre. The Winnipeg Foundation presented the WAG with $950,000 to support the proposed Inuit Art Centre, which the WAG said will engage audiences with Inuit art, culture, and history. The WAG hopes to create the centre to showcase their collection of more than 13,000 Inuit artworks that it currently holds in trust. The new building, which would be built adjacent to the WAG, would be a four level, 40,000 square foot facility, with a open storage system that would let people see Inuit carvings from street level. It would be the largest single gallery space in Canada devoted to Inuit art and culture.
Belarus-Kazakhstan museum exchanges planned for 2016
INTERNATIONAL — The Belarusian National History Museum and the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan are set to exchange exhibition projects in 2016. The exchange was discussed during a visit by Alma Sagyngali, Director of the Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan in Astana, to the Belarusian capital Minsk last week, during which both parties signed a cooperation agreement. According to this agreement, it is expected that next year the Belarusian museum will present an exhibition in Kazakhstan, and the Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan (a modern history museum) will bring an exhibition to Belarus. The aim of the exchange is to highlight the importance of the preservation and popularisation of cultural heritage, as well as to strengthen scientific and cultural ties between the two countries.
The Silk Roads rise again
INTERNATIONAL — September 2013, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, left the G20 summit of major economies in St Petersburg and began a tour of central Asia. His first stop was Astana, in Kazakhstan. On arrival, he told his counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, that both countries had benefited from good friendship – they were “as close as lips and teeth” – and that he looked forward to discussing “major international and regional issues of mutual interest”. What these issues were, and their geopolitical significance, became clear the following day in a speech at Nazarbayev University. The time had arrived, Xi announced, for China and the nations of central Asia to reflect on their long, shared past and to formulate plans to intensify economic co-operation, facilitate trade and remove barriers. It was time, he said, to build a "New Silk Road".
Iran preparing for ‘tsunami’ of foreign tourists in post-sanctions era
TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran’s vice-president told The Associated Press on Sunday his country is preparing for a “tsunami” of foreign tourists as Iran and world powers are set to begin implementing a landmark nuclear deal that will lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. Masoud Soltanifar, who is also Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization chief, said President Hassan Rouhani’s moderate policies and the easing of visa rules are opening the door for the return of foreign tourists to Iran. A country rich in historical and cultural treasures, Iran will unveil an investment package of 1,300 projects in the coming days to attract foreign investment and boost the badly-hit tourism industry. Iran is home to 19 UNESCO-registered sites. Even before sanctions are lifted, the number of foreigners visiting Iran has grown 12 per cent in each of the past two years. In 2014, Iran hosted over 5 million tourists, bringing in some $7.5 billion in revenue.
Greece to raise entry prices for museums and historic sites
ATHENS, GREECE — Entry to some of Greece’s most famous museums and monuments is to become significantly more expensive after the country’s government announced price rises that could go as high as 150%. The country wants to raise more money from its tourism industry and is targeting the “unacceptably low” fees its government feels tourists pay to see sites such as the Acropolis. Prices at the Athens monument are to rise by about 66% from €12 (£8.90) to €20 and those for the ruins of Knossos in Crete, Europe’s oldest city, are to jump 150% from €6 to €15, the federation of Greek travel agents said. Prices at other popular sites and museums would double, according to Greece’s culture ministry. The full price rises are to come in from April to November 2016, with a 50% discount for the rest of the year, it said.
New York's MoMA takes top prize at museum 'Oscars'
LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM — Are the glory days of some of the world's best known museums now ancient history? Seems that way from the results of this year's museum "Oscars." OK, so the top prize in the prestigious Leading Culture Destinations 2015 awards, announced Friday in London, goes to a classic -- New York's Museum of Modern Art. Plenty of other usual suspects also made the cut including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and London's Tate Modern. But other giants of the museum world were elbowed out in favor of new arrivals like the spectacular Oita Prefectural Art Museum in Japan, and architecture supremo Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
In Argentina, Where Culture Is 'A Right,' A Free New Arts Center Opens
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — A new tourist attraction in Argentina — The Centro Cultural Kirchner in downtown Buenos Aires — has been posting some impressive numbers since it opened in mid-May. As many as 10,000 patrons a day are trooping through an ornate, turn-of-the-last-century building that has been converted into what's said to be the fourth-largest cultural center in the world. Remarkably, everything in it is free, from video installations to comedy acts to symphony concerts.
Creating Cultural Capital|