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Old munitions dump to become new Serpentine gallery

serpentineThe Serpentine has won a bid to extend its gallery business to a historic location just a few minutes from its doors.  The gallery will be opened in a building that once housed munitions and more recently was used by Royal Parks for storing the flags from the Mall.  The gallery will open just in time for the Olympics.

The funding to make all of this possible comes from a single donation bestowed by the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.  The gallery will be appropriately named The Serpentine Sackler.

In order to get the project, Serpentine won out over fellow bidders, The Halcyon Gallery and Damien Hirst.

It is reported that Hirst was planning to exhibit pieces of his private collection, which would have included works from Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Francis Bacon.  There were also plans to construct bronze gates and new windows of stained glass.

The Halcyon Gallery President commented that they were very pleased to have been included in the final three bids for consideration and that they will continue fulfilling their goal to bring art to the public by seeking out other venues.

Royal Parks said that all three of the final bids were very worthy and that there will be more opportunities in the parks at later dates.

The Serpentine will use the opportunity to exhibit work by less famous artists, it says.  There are plans to add a new pavilion by architect Zaha Hadid.  The pavilion will feature a large-scale light exhibition.  A different artist will also be given a commission every year to create an outside play area and a restaurant, café, and a shop will be opened for visitors.

Admission to the new gallery is free, as it is privately funded.

Of course, the Serpentine was delighted to win the project and very excited to get work for the new gallery underway.

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