Monday, 2 March 2009 3:08 PM

Government Looks at Building a National Arts Gallery

The Solomon Islands Government is looking at building a state of the art National Arts Gallery in the coming months.

Director of the Culture Division at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism informed Solomon Times that the Division has already invited tenders from construction and architectural firms in the country.

"The notice of the expression of interest has been issued out for the last 14 days, I can say that we have received a handful of letters," said Mr. Au.

Mr. Au said that, like any other Arts Gallery the World over, the National Arts Gallery should have an auditorium that can cater for 1500- 2000 people, an arts gallery and a coffee lounge.

"The first ground work for the site should be completed by the 4th quarter of this year," said Mr. Au. "The ministry is keen on starting the project quickly so that we can utilize it during the 11th festival of Pacific arts in 2012."

"The Prime Minister, during his recent visit, said that it is a top priority and the government will be willing to commit itself to have the national arts gallery built," he highlighted.

He added that their Ministry would be working closely with the Ministry of Planning and Aid Coordination and the Ministry of Infrastructure to complete the National Arts Gallery project.

Solomon Times understands that most of the money will come from money raised from the selling of the previous National Arts Gallery, reportedly sold at SBD$8.5 million.