Powerhouse Museum relocation plan criticised in committee report

The government of New South Wales, Australia, has insisted that a planned move of the Powerhouse Museum from its Ultimo location to Parramatta, across the city in western Sydney, will go ahead, despite the release of a deeply critical inquiry report.

A two-and-a-half-year analysis of the project has instead suggested that the museum – which has a huge collection of technology and is a major branch of Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences – should be given a cash injection to restore it to its former glory, while a new satellite museum be considered in western Sydney and Parramatta be given its own world-class institution.

However, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying: "The Powerhouse in western Sydney is part of the future of western Sydney."

In addition, a design competition for the proposed new museum has been launched, with a judging panel announced which includes US architect Jeanne Gang, designer of Chicago’s Aqua Tower. The brief for this competition has itself been criticised in the report, which said it failed to meet the minimum criteria set down by the museum’s board and paid little attention to the museum’s collection.

The committee that produced the report is made up of MPs from opposition parties the Greens, Labor and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, as well as a minority from the ruling Liberal Party. Committee chairman, Greens MP David Shoebridge, said that the fact the world-renowned collection was barely mentioned in the brief proved that "the project is a real estate deal dressed up as a cultural investment".

Powerhouse  Powerhouse Museum  Sydney  New South Wales  Australia  Ultimo  Parramatta  Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 
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The government of New South Wales, Australia, has insisted that a planned move of the Powerhouse Museum from its Ultimo location to Parramatta, across the city in western Sydney, will go ahead, despite the release of a deeply critical inquiry report. A two-and-a-half-year analysis of the project has instead suggested that the museum – which has a huge collection of technology and is a major branch of Sydney’s Museum of
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Sydney's Powerhouse Museum holds a collection of more than 400,000 objects / Shutterstock.com
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