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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 13:59 GMT
Revamped art museum 'like teacup'
Museum of Modern Art interior
The architecture has been widely praised
The architect behind the $425m (228.7m) face-lift of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has spoken about the project.

Yoshio Taniguchi likened the art centre to a Japanese teacup during a news conference to unveil the new complex.

His architecture has won rave reviews for its light and airy modernism and sharp diagonal lines.

The Manhattan museum is due to reopen on Saturday after more than two years in a temporary space in nearby Queens.

[A teacup] doesn't speak by itself so much but when you pour the green tea, the contrast becomes so great
Yoshio Taniguchi, architect

The cost of the whole project soared to $858m (461.7m) from an initial budget of 300m (161.45m).

A total of $425m (228.7m) was spent on construction, with the rest spent on additional land, moving temporarily to Queens and raising capital.

The Japanese architect's design doubles the space, but keeps popular elements of the old museum, including the sculpture garden.

Japanese food

Speaking at the news conference on Monday, Taniguchi said: "Architecture basically is a container, you have to have something inside.

"A museum should not be finished until you see works of art and people inside.

"Some architecture is too strong and too expressive. I like those things but sometimes they are not appropriate for the museum."

"Museums are like a Japanese teacup," he added.

"It doesn't speak by itself so much but when you pour the green tea, the contrast becomes so great.

"Like a plate - if you have a very simple plate there's nothing there but when you start putting all this Japanese food on, it changes."

MoMA attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and enjoys a vast collection of art, including works by Picasso and Matisse, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.

New York gallery to reopen on time
05 Jun 03 |  Entertainment
New York gallery opens new home
27 Jun 02 |  Entertainment
NY suburb greets slimmed-down Moma
28 Jun 02 |  Entertainment

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