WA’s new museum is ready to open with a festival of celebration

The newly renovated Western Australian Museum will open in the Perth Cultural Centre on Saturday November 21, 2020 with a nine-day festival expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors.

With a huge demand to see the new building ticket holders selected by ballot will be able to take preview tours of the Museum and get a taste of the extraordinary stories and experiences on offer inside. There are eight new permanent galleries, a 1,000sqm temporary exhibition gallery, life-long learning studios, and retail and café spaces.

The $400 million redevelopment has seen the Museum completely closed for several years, while previously parts of the building were closed for decades. The massive redevelopment has seen buildings created in the 1960’s and beyond knocked down and a massive new structure built around the older heritage listed buildings.

Five of Perth’s significant heritage buildings have been revitalised and integrated with an architecturally stunning new building, that is already being viewed as Perth’s newest landmark destination.

Tickets to the opening festival will be made available on the Western Australian Museum’s website later this year.

More than 50,000 people around WA have contributed their thoughts to the development of the Museum’s exhibitions, programs and stories. Four community panels have also contributed their input over the past five years, focusing on access and inclusion, education, and children and young people.

One of the eight permanent galleries, Ngalang Koort Boodja Wirn, is dedicated to sharing traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture, and history. However, the stories and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are woven throughout the Museum, recognising the primary rights of Australia’s first peoples in practicing and expressing their cultural heritage.

The massive skeleton of a blue whale, one of the museum’s most popular attractions has not been on display since 2003, but it is expected to be a highlight when the new building opens.

Premier Mark McGowan said the investment in revitalizing the museum would be a major tourist attraction for the state.

“The new Western Australian Museum will be a cultural tourism sensation. It will be a vibrant centre of inspiration, learning and enjoyment for people of all ages.

“The $400 million redevelopment of the site is one of the most significant cultural infrastructure projects undertaken anywhere in the world this century.

“By the time the Museum opens, it will have created 3,000 jobs, and helped keep Western Australians employed during the global pandemic.

“Importantly, underpinning every visitor experience is the latest scientific and cultural research, connecting with State and National Curriculum priorities and promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, or STEAM, learning across all ages.”

OIP Staff, image: artists impression of the redevelopment

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