What will be Australia’s largest private art museum is scheduled to open in January 2011. MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) is a new art gallery located 15 minutes from the centre of Hobart. Designed by Nonda Katsalidis, the three-story subterranean structure will be free to the public. Curated by Mark Fraser, MONA will showcase the $100-million private collection of philanthropist and gambling tycoon David Walsh, which includes a rarely seen 45-metre piece by Sidney Nolan and works by British artist Damien Hirst.

The new addition to Tasmania’s arts scene signals great opportunities for the state’s tourism industry. According to Tourism Tasmania CEO Felicia Mariani, “[MONA’s] art and cultural offerings will be the greatest Tasmania has seen to date, and we anticipate that it will draw both international and interstate arts enthusiasts to our shores, cementing our reputation as a destination that has world-class offerings and world-class experiences.”

The gallery’s opening will follow on the heels of the third annual MONA FOMA (MONA Festival of Music and Art). As part of the 2011 festival, organiser Brian Ritchie will offer free performances from international and Australian acts including Amanda Palmer, WIRE, Anthony Pateras and Speak Percussion, as well as ticketed shows...

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