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Zeitz Museum begins one-year countdown

Oct 02 2016 18:36

Cape Town - The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town announced the one year countdown to the museum’s grand opening.

This is expected to be the most significant museum of contemporary art in Africa, and the largest art museum built in Africa in more than 100 years.

First announced in 2013, the four-year project to convert the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront into a cutting edge contemporary art museum is officially in the home stretch.

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open to the public during Heritage Weekend 2017, holding a four-day Grand Opening from Friday, 22 September to Monday, 25 September. During this time, no entrance fee will be charged.

The museum is a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz. It is regarded as the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, and also the first African institution to acknowledge new mediums through the establishment of different centres and institutes within the overall museum.

On completion, Zeitz MOCAA will house Centres for Costume Institute, Photography, Curatorial Excellence, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, and Art Education. In addition to the different Centres, the museum will also feature a myriad of gallery spaces, a sculpture garden, bookshop, restaurant, technical training areas, research labs, reading rooms etc.

In addition to exhibiting an extensive art collection from some of Africa’s most talented artists, Zeitz MOCAA has sought to create a contemporary art museum that is easily accessible to South Africans and continental visitors. The Museum’s "access for all" programme will ensure that no one is ever turned away from the Museum due to the inability to afford admission.

“At its heart, Zeitz MOCAA is centred on the promise of creating a museum that showcases the best talent and creativity of Africa and grants access to everyone. With less than one year to go to the museum’s grand opening, we are seeing our vision of an accessible, contemporary art museum reach fruition,” said David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront and co-chair of Zeitz MOCAA’s board of trustees.

Executive director and chief curator of the museum, Mark Coetzee said it is a symbol of the confidence felt about being African, "the confidence that we feel about our place in the world".

"And that’s what makes this so extraordinary. We have been given an opportunity to create a museum for all, and we must guarantee Access for all. The right to cultural participation, and access to the artefacts that represent our diverse cultures, is deeply rooted in human rights. This is a principle that Zeitz MOCAA will uphold, defend and keep as a central mission of its reason for being,” said Coetzee.

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