Premier Denis Napthine today joined the Victorian Major Events Company, National Gallery of Victoria, Museum Victoria and Australian Centre for the Moving Image in welcoming the four millionth visitor to the hugely successful Melbourne Winter Masterpieces.
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to the four millionth visitor to the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, which brings some of the world’s best international art and cultural exhibitions to Melbourne,” Dr Napthine said.
The 16 exhibitions in the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series have attracted more than 340,000 interstate and international visitors to Victoria, generating economic benefits of more than $318 million to the state.
“This achievement is a testament to the strength of Victoria’s major events calendar and our reputation as a major cultural, sporting and entertainment destination. The series has also brought the world’s best art and some remarkable and very special experiences to the people of Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
“Melbourne Winter Masterpieces now stands tall alongside Melbourne’s four other cornerstone major events, namely the Australian Open tennis, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Boxing Day Test cricket.”
Director of the NGV Tony Ellwood joined Dr Napthine in celebrating the four millionth visitor to the series.
“The celebration of the collective four millionth visitor to the series demonstrates that it has been embraced by local, national and overseas visitors and is a highlight on the annual major events calendar.
“Monet’s Garden is the tenth Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the NGV and has already been viewed by more than 130,000 people of all ages and interests. This week we launch Friday Nights at Monet’s Garden, an after-hours event that will completely transform the gallery, showcasing Australia’s most renowned and acknowledged musicians, singers and DJs,” Mr Ellwood said.
ACMI has hosted four of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions, with Hollywood Costume currently attracting strong audiences.
ACMI Director and CEO Tony Sweeney said he was amazed at the success of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces.
“We are absolutely delighted to be part of the enormous success of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series and are proud of being able to expand the profile and reach of the series into contemporary moving image art and influential popular culture,” Mr Sweeney said.
“Illuminating exhibitions on moving image artists and creative practice have drawn new audiences and first-time visitors, demonstrating the power of creative brilliance, innovation and artistic achievement to inspire, engage, provoke and entertain.”
Also welcoming today’s milestone was Museum Victoria CEO Dr J Patrick Greene.
“We have had two outstanding exhibitions at Melbourne Museum as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series – in 2009 A Day in Pompeii and in 2011 Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” Dr Greene said.
“These exhibitions were enormously successful, with Tutankhamun becoming the most popular ever presented in Australia and helping to attract more than 1.1 million visitors to the Museum as part of the series.
“Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital and a fitting destination for international treasures, and we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to reach new audiences and international partnerships through the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series,” Dr Greene said.
Current Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions include Monet’s Garden: the Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris at the NGV and Hollywood Costume at ACMI.
Over the coming months the 2014 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions will be announced and are set to carry on the successful tradition.