Sydney’s newest arts and cultural attraction is set to open to the public with hopes it will have the same effect on the city as Sydney Opera House did when it opened in the 70s.
The Sydney Modern Project, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, took 10 years to build at a cost of $344 million with Arts and Tourism Minister Ben Franklin saying the building will be a global cultural attraction.
“I believe that this new space will become just as iconic as the Guggenheim in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Modern with its extraordinary turbine hall,” he said.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architects SANAA and jointly funded by the state government and private donors, the new building will open on December 3 with a nine-day celebration, including a performance by singer Ellie Goulding and a nightly drone show created by Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie.
Argentinian sculptor Adrian Villar Rojas will kick off the major exhibitions with his End of Imagination installation expected to attract more than 15,000 visitors to the city and inject $10 million into the state economy.
There will also be a strong focus on First Nations and female artists.
Earlier this year, lobby group Business Sydney called for more investment in the city’s arts and cultural offerings.
“All we’ve been doing for the last 20, 30 years is promoting the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and the Three Sisters,” Executive Director Paul Nicolaou said at the time.
“But there isn’t a united push to articulate that Sydney is the home for arts and culture in Australia.”