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october 31, 2017 - zeitz.mocaa

Zeitz MOCAA officially opens as the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora

Zeitz MOCAA officially opens as the world’s largest museum dedicated to #contemporaryart from Africa and its diaspora

zeitzmocaa, the world’s largest museum dedicated to #contemporaryart from Africa and its diaspora hosts its Professional Preview weekend ahead of its official public opening on 22 September 2017. More than four years in the making, the boldly ambitious project to reimagine the V&A Waterfront’s historic grain silo into the world’s largest museum dedicated to #contemporaryart from Africa and its diaspora has reached completion.

From preserving the historic architectural legacy of what was once the tallest building in South Africa, to developing a sustainable not-for-profit public cultural institution that preserves, develops and enhances creativity, #zeitzmocaa is a hugely important cultural landmark that will contribute to a stronger, wider appreciation of Africa’s cultural heritage.

The grain silo’s architectural redevelopment from disused industrial building into a cutting-edge #contemporaryart museum was undertaken by London-based Heatherwick Studio in conjunction with local South African architects, and funded by the V&A Waterfront at a cost of R500-million. The museum’s founding art collection, the Zeitz Collection, is on long-term loan, and forms the basis of the extensive art on display at the newly opened museum.

“Standing at the opening of the Zeitz Museum of #contemporaryart Africa is somewhat surreal. It has been a long and challenging journey, but we are delighted that we have been able to create a platform of such scale and influence for Africa,” said Mark Coetzee, Executive Director, #zeitzmocaa.

“As a patron and supporter of the Zeitz Museum of #contemporaryart Africa, I wanted to send my congratulations to Jochen Zeitz, the V&A Waterfront and the whole #zeitzmocaa team, for making this dream a reality.

By providing a platform for the incredibly talented and passionate artists across Africa and beyond, this museum fills a critical gap in the continent’s art scene. I am proud to be part of this journey,” said Kofi Annan, #zeitzmocaa Patron.

“Due to the launch of a film I’m acting in, my wife and I are not able to join this exciting moment of the opening doors at #zeitzmocaa in person. But we do want to congratulate the V&A Waterfront and our friend Johan Zeitz on this outstanding accomplishment of this new important African establishment, the first major museum for contemporary African art.

I can’t imagine a better place than #capetown to represent African art, but also to bring international artists to this amazing city to celebrate unity within the arts. I’m excited to participate as a patron and my hope is that the Sundance Institute and I will find a way to collaborate with #zeitzmocaa Institute of the Moving Image so we will be able to create a stronger voice for the arts worldwide,” added Robert Redford, #zeitzmocaa Patron.

The museum has 9,500 sq metres of custom designed space, spread over nine floors, carved out of the monumental structure of the V&A Waterfront’s historic grain silo complex. The galleries and the cathedral-like atrium space at the centre of #zeitzmocaa have been carved from the silos’ dense cellular structure of forty-two tubes that pack the building.

The development includes 6,000 sq metres of exhibition space in 100 galleries, a rooftop sculpture garden, state of the art storage and conservation areas, a bookshop, a restaurant and bar, and various reading rooms. The museum will also house a Costume Institute, and Centres for Photography, Curatorial Excellence, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, and Art Education.

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