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    Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery Seeks New Building for Modern Art

    Date: 28 Aug 2008 | | Views: 4443

    Source: Bloomberg, by John Varoli

    The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow's largest collection of Russian art, said it has begun talks with the city government to build a new space for its modern and contemporary art collection.

    The Tretyakov is a federally owned museum and most of its 20th-century art collection occupies almost 60 percent of the Central House of Artists, a city-owned arts center across from Gorky Park that was built in the 1970s.

    The city intends to tear down the massive box-like Central House of Artists and replace it with a better-equipped arts center, said Natalia Klimova, a spokeswoman for the Moscow City Architecture Committee. She said a working group will convene in mid-September to hammer out a proposal on the new building. It will consider the opinion of the Tretyakov.

    ``We're not against the city's plans, but we have one strict condition --- before we vacate the Central House of Artists the city must first build us a new space that meets the finest standards of a 21st-century museum,'' said Tretyakov Deputy Director Irina Lebedeva.

    ``Our collection of 20th-century art has doubled in the past 20 years, and we don't have enough space in the Central House of Artists'' said Lebedeva.

    The Tretyakov has 152,000 artworks, of which about 54,000 are modern and contemporary items stored in the Central House of Artists, the museum said. The remaining works are located at the Tretyakov's main building, referred to as the Old Tretyakov.

    (John Varoli writes for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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