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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
New York gallery opens new home
Van Gogh's Starry Night
Van Gogh's Starry Night: Just one of the museum's collection
New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has received its official opening at its new venue.

The museum, which boasts masterpieces by Van Gogh and Picasso, has been forced to move to Queens so a $650m (454m) expansion project can take place at its usual Manhattan site.

On Wednesday, museum director Glenn Lowry inaugurated the temporary site before it opens to the public on Saturday.

Cutting the red ribbon, Mr Lowry said the building, formerly a staple factory, would continue to show off the museum's works to their best advantage.

"The space here has a certain rawness that makes the art come off the walls in a potent way," Mr Lowry said.

Work at the museum's Manhattan venue is scheduled to be completed by 2005.

Exhibits

The museum's collection amounts to more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings.

It also owns around 14,000 films, and 140,000 books and periodicals.

Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon
Works such as Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon will benefit from the redesign

The new venue, MoMA QNS, opens with three shows, including the continuation of Collection Highlights, featuring works by Matisse, Van Gogh, Warhol and Pollock.

Modern exhibits are also featured. Autobodies includes a 1990 Formula 1 Ferrari and a 1950s Jeep.

Elsewhere, Tempo features contemporary art from around the world and examines time in everything from clocks to watches and metronomes.

MoMA QNS is close to the museum's sister gallery, the PS1 Contemporary Art Center.

Aquarium

Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi has been commissioned to redesign the original museum, with plans for a glass, aluminium and black slate frontage.

The Harvard design graduate has previously worked on the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Toyota City and Tokyo Sea Life Park, an aquarium built on landfill.

This is his first commission outside of Japan.

The aim of the redesign is to mesh new concepts with the familiar features such as the sculpture garden.

The building will provide larger, more flexible exhibition space, new galleries, and a lobby with a view of the sculpture garden and a soaring light-filled atrium.

When the Manhattan site re-opens, MoMA QNS will be closed to the public and used as additional storage space for the museum's expanding collection.

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