An artist’s impression of the new museum. Credit: University of Sydney.
Sydney University has big news. They have received a $15 million donation from Chinese-Australian entrepreneur and chairman of Kingold Group Dr Chau Chak Wing to establish a new museum at the University of Sydney.
The donation will fund the construction of a 6000 square metre museum. The University’s historic Macleay and adjacent Edgeworth David Building will be redeveloped and connected via a new modern extension. It will include a special exhibition area for Chinese art and artefacts. A 240-seat lecture theatre will be linked to 1,800 square metres of exhibition space, conservation laboratories, and a suite of exhibition galleries.
The new museum will enable the University to display more of their precious and rarely seen objects for the first time. With an estimated 700,000 objects thought to be in the three collections, 99 percent of which are currently not seen because of limited exhibition space, this will represent a new viewing experience for visitors and provide opportunities for extended research. Dr Chau said “I hope that this collaboration will further promote education and enlighten people, building a platform for greater international cultural exchange”.
“The University of Sydney is dedicated to a multidisciplinary vision of teaching and research, to breaking down barriers to sharing knowledge,” said David Ellis, Director of Museums at the University of Sydney.
“Museums are an important part of city cultural life. It is a common aspiration of people all over the world to promote cultural heritage, and it’s our responsibility to ensure it is passed on to future generations,” said Dr Chau.
The University will be inviting expressions of interest for the project from architects specialised in adapting heritage buildings. The Chau Chak Wing Museum is scheduled to open in 2018.
“This generous donation from Dr Chau Chak Wing is an enormous contribution, which will allow us to finally do justice to these magnificent collections by displaying them together in one building. It makes possible the showcasing of some of Australia’s most significant artistic, scientific and archaeological artefacts,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Dr Chau Chak Wing is a Chinese-Australian entrepreneur and Chairman of the Kingold Group. He is known for his generous philanthropy including the recent Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney.