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ARTIST PROFILE ISSUE 46 – March 2019 A Billion Dollar Con? Powerhouse move in the spotlight

BY Geoff Sirmai | 21-Mar-2019
This month’s bumper edition of ARTIST PROFILE blows the lid on the highly controversial on-again, off-again efforts of the NSW government to move the Powerhouse Museum to Sydney’s West.
A Billion Dollar Con
Image by David Rowe
ARTIST PROFILE principal writer and leading Australian art critic John McDonald pens a provocative open letter to the Michael Daley – with some choice words of advice for the NSW opposition leader.

In a timely essay, McDonald urges the ALP leader to nail his colours to the mast, in the interest of repairing the state - and the nation’s - cultural reputation.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government, says McDonald, has refused to listen to its critics and has tried to keep its plans from public scrutiny – and it’s no secret that the current site has been re-valued upwards by some $220 million.

“There are no convincing arguments in favour of the move… too many questions remain unanswered, too many other projects have been hurried or bungled.

“What world city moves a major cultural asset out of the metropolitan area? It would like London moving the Victoria and Albert Museum to Essex, or New York punting the Guggenheim to New Jersey.

“The government’s sole remaining rallying cry seems to be ‘Build it and they will come!’. It is, incidentally, the same rationale being trumpeted for the Art Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern extension.”

“Mr Daley, you’ve shown you can respond positively when we rose up against the sporting stadiums, now let’s see you save the Powerhouse.”

ARTIST PROFILE is Australasia’s leading quarterly journal, diving into current art world issues and taking its readers into the studios and minds of contemporary artists across Australasia and beyond.