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WATCH: 'Cathedral' for African art gives new life to 100-year-old grain silo

20 September, 10:00 AM

Aletta Harrison, News24

Cape Town - Boasting 6,000 square metres of exhibition space over nine floors, a rooftop sculpture garden and state of the art storage and conservation areas, the Zeitz MOCAA museum of contemporary African art officially opens the doors to its imposing structure this weekend.

Carved out of the V&A Waterfront's historic grain silo complex, the project painstakingly preserved the essence of the original cellular building, which is close to 100 years old.

The Zeitz Collection is focused on work from Africa and its diaspora made from 2000 onwards, but Zeitz MOCAA will also play host to international exhibitions.

The museum's Director of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs, Elana Brundyn, explains:

"The collection is Africa-focused, but that doesn't mean we're not going to show other exhibitions. So that means somebody like Liza Lou - although she's American - works with 50 Zulu women in KwaZulu-Natal that help her with the glass bead to us that's very interesting and she's done a beautiful room here that is a white bead room..."

Brundyn adds that the permanent collection will be supplemented by plenty of fresh content and events.

"I think the amazing thing is also that although the museum has beautiful large-scale spaces, there are also the smaller institutes where the programme runs faster - it will change every two to three months so that the museum stays quite relevant, so you don't have to wait a year before you come see a new show.

"There will constantly be new exhibitions opening, and the programming will include lectures and talks and tours and walk-throughs and education, so all of those things will make it a space to visit all the time."

Zeitz MOCAA gave News24 a tour of the facility before its grand opening to the public on 22 September 2017. Watch. 

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