Ms Giddings said the TMAG redevelopment is an important signal of the Government’s confidence in Tasmania’s future, despite the current difficult financial picture.
“It is vital that Government continues to invest in infrastructure and jobs, to support the ongoing resilience of our economy,” Ms Giddings said.
“This project not only provides immediate planning and construction jobs but also helps to build modern cultural infrastructure that underpins our tourism industry.
“With the opening of the world class Museum of Old and New Art, it is important that TMAG compliments this new tourism experience.
“Tasmanians love our TMAG, and showed their support in September 2008 when over 90% of public feedback supported the redevelopment masterplan as being not only good for TMAG, but also good for the state and the nation.”
Ms Giddings said TMAG would start changing displays and closing galleries from next month, with construction to begin in earnest in September.
“Stage one will open up existing, under-used space within TMAG and will provide unprecedented access to the Commissariat Store and Bond Store, which are among Australia’s most significant heritage buildings,” Ms Giddings said.
“The Bond Store will be home to a series of exhibitions that explore the elements that have shaped Tasmania’s history.
“New exhibitions in the central gallery spaces will re-interpret our rich and unique collections and stories.
“When completed, this first stage of work will create a new visitor entrance which will highlight the historic Watergate building as a central feature of the courtyard space, and will reveal features of the heritage buildings that are currently hidden from public view.
Ms Giddings said that the much-loved Muttaburrasaurus in the Macquarie Street entry foyer would be one of the first displays to be dismantled in early March, followed by the closure of the Convict gallery.
“These changes mark the beginning of a very exciting time for TMAG and I would encourage all Tasmanians to take this opportunity to revisit old favourites like the Muttaburrasaurus before these displays close for construction works.”
Stage one is scheduled for completion at the end of 2012 or early 2013, subject to planning and heritage approvals.