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The Art Gallery of New South Wales‘ plans to build a $450 million extension dubbed the ‘Sydney Modern Project’ by 2021, have been put on hold today, after the State Government declared that their initial design will have to be appropriated into a ‘greater plan for inner-city Sydney’.
Premier Mike Baird announced that the much needed expansions of one of Australia’s most iconic cultural institution were “looking a bit too dear” and “not at the top of his list of priorities for the contemporary Sydney”
Instead, the Premier has announced a ‘compromise’ that will ‘serve to keep everyone happy’.
“What we have decided is that, as this gallery belongs to the people of New South Wales, there should be a bit more input from the community,” said the devout Christian and die-hard surfy from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“The state government will dedicate half the funding needed, and the rest will be spotted by close friends of the gallery,”
Artists and art enthusiasts from around the country have criticised the NSW Premier’s announcement today, stating that he has failed to point out who those ‘close friends’ actually are.
Australian actor and recurring Archibald subject, David Wenham, has come out swinging.
“How on earth can [Baird] justify selling half of our state’s art gallery to Westfield?”
“If someone had told me twenty years ago that there would be a Boost Juice Bar in the lobby of AGNSW, I would have drowned myself off the Bellarine Peninsula”
To add insult to injury, it has also been revealed that The Yiribana Gallery within the AGNSW, one of the world’s largest spaces dedicated to the permanent display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, will be replaced by a Hoyts Cinema franchise.
When questioned about this revelations, Mike Baird announced that he did not want to interfere with the planning stages of the ‘NSW Gallery Shoppingtown’ – but that he did have faith in the developers involved in this project’s ‘vision for contemporary Sydney’.
“This is Lunar Park meets GOMA – childcare facilities, laser-tag, and as many Pro Hart paintings as you can point a stick at,”
“Sydney isn’t what it used to be, and this new expansion of our Art Gallery will reflect that.”
The initial design by the Tokyo-based firm SANAA features pavilions that open on to the Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens, with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour and Woolloomooloo, in the city’s east.
Many of the AGNSW patrons and friends have rushed to defend the initial plans, stating that it is downright embarrassing that the colonial backwater of Tasmania has a better state gallery than all of New South Wales.
Well-known socialite and supporter of the arts, Mrs Kerry Singleton said it was a unanimous decision to appoint the Japanese architects from a field of 12 companies from around the world – but was now unsure of the direction Mike Baird was taking the gallery.
“I don’t think it is appropriate for our Premier to remove the Art Gallery of NSW from the heritage list. I also don’t think it is appropriate to build thirteen stories of apartments and office space above the gallery,”
“This is too far.”