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16 Aug 2019

Australian Museum closes for year-long AUS$57.5m renovation
BY Andy Knaggs

Artist's rendering of the expanded Crystal Hall entrance

Artist's rendering of the expanded Crystal Hall entrance
photo: Australian Museum

A major renovation project that will expand touring exhibition halls and create several new facilities at the Australian Museum in Sydney will see the venue closed to the public from 19 August.

Project Discover has a budget of AUS$57.5m (US$38.9m, €34.9m, £32.1m), most of which has been provided by the New South Wales Government, leaving a balance of AUS$7m (US$4.7m, €4.25m, £3.9m) to be raised by the museum.

Designed by Cox Architects and Neeson Murcutt – which created the museum's award-winning Crystal Hall – the improvements will repurpose existing storage space to give the museum 1,500sq m (4,900sq ft) of touring exhibition halls across two levels. Such capacity means that the museum could host either one major exhibition or two smaller exhibitions simultaneously.



Further developments will see new education facilities, a new museum shop, a second café, an expanded members' lounge, improved circulation and wayfinding, including via a new central staircase, new escalators, and improved public amenities that cater for families and those with accessibility needs.

The work needs to be completed in time for the Australian Museum to host the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition, early in 2021. Sydney will be the fifth city to host the 150 artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb, with the exhibition running for six months.

Founded 190 years ago, the Australian Museum is Australia's oldest museum. It's opening its doors for free this weekend before the year-long redevelopment begins.



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