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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 14:10 GMT
Work to start on 'controversial' gallery
The Turner Centre
The gallery should be built by 2006
Planning permission has been granted for the Turner Centre art gallery in Margate, Kent.

Opponents of the multi-million pound gallery have said the building will spoil the views of the seafront made famous by the paintings of Turner himself.

But after approval of the plans by Thanet District Council, the gallery could be open by 2006.

The centre will house works by JMW Turner and also feature a gallery for contemporary artists.

It will be built alongside a stone pier on Margate seafront.

The design for the centre, by Norwegian architects Snohetta and Spence, was chosen from almost 150 entries, from which six had been shortlisted as finalists.

New architecture and new items are always controversial
Councillor Ken Gregory

While its modern design has attracted praise it has also been greeted with criticism by traditionalists, among them experts on Turner's work.

Councillor Ken Gregory said: "A large majority of the planning committee were very strongly in favour but a couple of councillors were opposed to it.

"Councillors who were opposed to it felt that the financial package didn't stack up and that the actual design was not attractive.

"It's very modern - a classic comment was that it looked a bit like the conning tower of a submarine.

"New architecture and new items are always controversial, I think in some ways that's a positive thing."

Although the Turner Centre is not due to be completed for another three years, it is hoped samples of work will be on display within the next couple of years.



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