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New Centre at Statens Museum for Kunst

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK.-The Egmont Foundation donates EUR 2 millions for a new Education and Knowledge Centre at Statens Museum for Kunst (the Danish national gallery). The centre, which is due to open in the beginning of 2007, will represent a substantial boost in the museum's general efforts to present the arts to the public.

The generous donation from The Egmont Foundation, the largest of its kind in the history of Statens Museum for Kunst, ties in perfectly with the museum's desire to further boost its communication and education activities. With the new centre, the Danish people will get a modern and engaging platform for art education activities and the overall presentation of the museum collections and exhibitions.

Communicating our heritage to a wider audience - The new centre for communication and study has been conceived in continuation of the Children's Art Museum, which was also realised thanks to a large donation from The Egmont Foundation. Now, seven years later, it has proven itself as a huge success for our very youngest visitors. With the new centre for communication and study, Statens Museum for Kunst will have a permanent platform for active learning and contemplation aimed at a much larger section of its audience. The main target group is young adults within the 12 to 20 age bracket, and the centre will facilitate special events and learning for pupils and students within this group. At the same time the centre will provide a setting for courses aimed at teachers and educators, as well as those who work with the presentation of art at any level. The centre also breathes new life into activities aimed at scholars, students from institutes of higher education, and other museum visitors. Statens Museum for Kunst's serves the entire nation, so of course the new communication activities should be available to all of Denmark. As a consequence of this, the centre will also establish communication and online learning via the Internet and a new web portal.

A space for excitement and contemplation - The activities at the new centre will span the range between the classroom, the laboratory, and the art exhibition. Taking the most recent studies within art education as its point of departure, the centre will design courses aimed specifically at the user's needs and wishes. Spanning approximately 670 m2 distributed across three storeys in the east wing of Dahlerup's original museum building, the centre offers a range of different facilities. The centre will be integrated with the museum library and study hall and will also house a laboratory and rooms dedication to information, reflection, and conferences. Among many other things, users will have the opportunity to discover new approaches to art history, to become curators for a day, or to immerse themselves in the detective work carried out by art conservators.

Says Museum Director Allis Helleland; "We are thrilled to be able to realise our dream of setting up a new centre for communication and study. The Egmont Foundation has granted us this munificent donation at the best possible time. We see similar event & education set-ups having enormous success at the large museums abroad, for example at the MoMA and Tate. With the growing interest in our cultural heritage, the discussions concerning a cultural canon, and the recent education reforms we in Denmark have also felt the growing need for education and presentation of the arts. In addition to this, the fact that no admission fees will be charged at Museum for Kunst from 2006 will also bring in a new, large audience with little previous experience with museums - an audience we will treat to the best possible entry point to the priceless heritage we safeguard for future generations here at the museum. The centre will, for example, be a perfect point of departure for Danes of other ethnicities, giving them an excellent opportunity to form a comprehensive picture of an important part of the Danish cultural heritage on the basis of their own cultural footing."

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