LIVERPOOL.- Tate Liverpool
was given the Freedom of the City in recognition of its two decades as a major cultural presence in the city.
The high-profile art gallery, which opened at the Albert Dock in 1988, has given Liverpool people some of the very best displays from the national collection.
It is an integral part of the artistic and cultural life of the city - and is the most visited modern and contemporary art gallery outside London.
Since it opened it has hosted more than 150 exhibitions, and in 2008 was responsible for one of the highlights of Liverpools Capital of Culture year when it displayed the work of Gustav Klimt. It is currently showcasing the work of Picasso in Picasso: Peace and Freedom.
Artist and long-serving Tate Liverpool supporter Sir Peter Blake has created a new artwork as a gift to the city in recognition of Tate Liverpools Freedom award.
Liverpools Lord Mayor Councillor Hazel Williams said: Tate Liverpool has been an outstanding success and is now a fully established major cultural institution.
I personally enjoy visiting its thought-provoking and high quality exhibitions and it is wonderful to have such an internationally renowned gallery on our doorstep.
Tate Liverpool Director Christoph Grunenberg said: We are delighted that Tate Liverpool has been admitted to the Freedom Roll of the City.
Tate is enormously grateful to the city and the local people who have supported Tate Liverpool since its inception in 1988.
Executive Director Andrea Nixon continued, We look forward to our continued work with the city and our local communities: attracting more visitors to the city, expanding on the 60,000 local school and community participants we engage with each year, and allowing as many people as possible to enjoy an exciting range of special exhibitions and Tate collection displays."
Leader of Liverpool City Council Councillor Joe Anderson said: Tate Liverpool is a great example of the way in which the city has reinvented itself.
It is one of Liverpools major tourist attractions which has played host to millions of visitors during the last 20 years.
As well as attracting national and international visitors, Tate Liverpool is equally popular locally and is a particularly prized visit for schoolchildren.
Opposition leader Councillor Warren Bradley said: Tate Liverpool is a real gem.
It was an immediate success and was the first example in the UK of culture-led regeneration for a major inner city project.
It has gone from strength to strength and played a leading role in the bid for and delivery of Liverpools amazing year as European Capital of Culture 2008.