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    Detroit museum nearly renovated

    Date: 24 Feb 2007 | | Views: 3820

    DETROIT - The Detroit Institute of Arts is entering the final phase of its six-year, $158 million renovation and expansion that is increasing its gallery space by about 30 percent.

    The museum recently announced that is has raised more than $80 million of its $180 million goal for the "Great Art, New Start" capital campaign, which is supporting the renovation as well as the museum's endowment.

    The DIA broke ground on the renovation in April 2001 as part of an effort to become more accessible and visitor friendly. The areas of the museum that have been closed for the work are scheduled to reopen in November.

    Before the project began, parts of the museum were outdated and stone was falling off its facade.

    But Graham W.J. Beal, director of the DIA, said the renovation allowed the museum to re-examine how it displayed and explained art.

    "These changes have been made to safeguard the art and . . . we've done everything we can to try to make sure that once people get into the galleries they have an easy way finding their way around the art itself," Beal said.

    As work is being completed, about 6,000 pieces of the museum's collection are being reinstalled.

    Originally planned to cost $91 million, the discovery of asbestos in the north and south wings raised the cost of the renovation by about $56 million. Reinstallation of the collection is expected to cost about $11 million.

    The DIA, the city's main art gallery, is home to more than 60,000 works, including the first Vincent van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum and Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals.

    By David Runk, Chicago Tribune (AP)

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