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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Canberra’s culture fix around the corner

In an unprecedented move, all 11 National Cultural Institutions in Canberra are working collaboratively in the lead up to reopening their venues to visitors.

An open letter published to the Australian public today, Saturday 30 May, states that all organisations have been working hard behind the scenes in anticipation to open progressively across the coming month.

The National Museum of Australia Director, Mathew Trinca, said he was looking forward to all 11 venues being open to the public.

“We all exist to serve the public and have worked together with the collective commitment to reopen our buildings and reengage with the people who come through our doors,” he said.

“I think it’s immensely important, not just for Canberra but for the nation, that we reopen our doors.

“I think it will be symbolic of investing in the recovery of these closures that have been required to keep us safe.”

The National Museum will open from Tuesday 2 June and visitors will be able to book tickets online or at the door.

Other institutions have confirmed their opening dates, including the National Library of Australia which will open on 3 June and the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), which won’t open until mid-June. 

MoAD Director Daryl Karp said the museum had been undergoing renovations during shutdown which had pushed the opening back.

“I am desperately missing our visitors, but we have taken advantage of this time to refresh a lot,” she said.  

“We won’t have access to the front of the building until 15 June and then we will do what we normally do, which is make a fantastic experience for our guests.”

The 11 National Cultural Institutions have been meeting fortnightly in the lead up to the restrictions easing, in a collaboration Ms Karp says she hopes to see continue.

“It’s been so successful and so effective,” she said.

“We are looking at sharing knowledge, exhibition experiences, supporting one another inside the museums but also sharing our ideas for moving forward.”

Both institutions said they were looking forward to welcoming the public back to their venues.

Mr Trinca said the Museum was especially excited for the public to see its new exhibition Endeavour Voyage.

“We had it all but ready to open when the closure was announced and we wondered at the start if people would be able to see it at all,” he said.

“For good reason, too, I don’t think any of us knew what was in store.”

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