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SA cultural collections to get new home

An $86 million purpose-built facility in Adelaide will become the new home of South Australia’s important cultural and artistic collections.

The new centre will not be open to the public and will replace current inadequate and run down storage facilities which often put prized pieces at risk of damage.

More than 90 per cent of South Australia’s cultural collections, worth about $1.2 billion, are held in storage at any given time.

They rotate on display through the state’s institutions including the Art Gallery of SA, South Australian Museum, the History Trust of SA and the State Library.

Included is South Australia’s significant collection of Aboriginal artefacts, the largest and most comprehensive gathering of Aboriginal cultural material in the world.

“This new facility will allow a more collaborative approach between our cultural institutions and deliver a venue to securely protect South Australia’s collections,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“The storage is fundamental to the care and safekeeping of the state’s cultural treasures, which in turn are fundamentally important to South Australians and our identity as a state.”

Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre Ambassador David Rathman said the journey to preserve, restore and safely store Aboriginal cultural heritage had taken many years of advocacy.

“Today is the first step in enabling 30,000 irreplaceable items of our heritage to be housed in a state-of-the-art facility,” Mr Rathman said.

“This world-class centre will enable future generations to be able to continue to appreciate the Aboriginal collection, which reaches back into the 60,000 years of Aboriginal story of country.”

Work on the new facility is expected to be complete in early 2024 with the construction to create more than 700 jobs.

It will store the state’s collections in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, with integrated pest control, robust security and specialised fire protection services.

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