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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Premier announces plan for restoration of the Old Museum

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Premier announces plan for restoration of the Old Museum

    The Palaszczuk Government will establish a fundraising body to raise money for the restoration of the Old Museum in Brisbane.

    Speaking ahead of the Royal Queensland Show, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government had allocated $3 million for maintenance and a business case for restoration of the Old Museum, which was constructed in 1891.  Restoration costs are estimated to be at least $60 million 

    “I am especially pleased to announce that His Excellency Governor Paul de Jersey has agreed to be the patron of this body, and Chris Freeman AM has agreed to be its chair,” she said.

    “It is fitting that our Governor leads efforts to raise the funds for the full restoration of the Museum, after all it was the Acting Governor Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer – also a former Premier – that laid the foundation stone for it in 1891.

    “The will be a challenge worthy of the formidable talents of both His Excellency and Chris.

    “This restoration is also an important bridge between Queensland’s history and its future.

    “The Old Museum will continue to be owned by Queenslanders but will form part of the precinct, for use by the RNA, during the EKKA each year.”

    Quilts Across Queensland will be on display at the Old Museum during the Royal Queensland Show, which starts tomorrow (11 August).

    Old Museum

    The building was constructed in 1891 for the Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Association.  The Queensland Government took over the building in 1897 and leased the concert hall to the Brisbane City Council until the Brisbane City Hall was completed in 1930. From 1891 to 1930, the Old Museum Concert Hall was the main venue for concerts in Brisbane, including recitals by Dame Nellie Melba and Ignaz Paderewski.

    In 1899, works were carried out to enable the Queensland Museum to be transferred to the building. The Museum reopened to the public in its new home in 1900.

    In 1930, the concert hall was transformed into the Queensland Art Gallery. The Art Gallery occupied the space until 1974 when the collection was moved to a temporary location in the city while a purpose-built gallery was completed on the South Bank. The Concert Hall space was then used by the Queensland Museum until it also moved to South Bank in 1987.

    Link to pictures of Old Museum

    Full biography of His Excellency Governor Paul de Jersey

    Biography of Chris Freeman AM

    Chris Freeman was born and educated in Queensland and has significant company directorship experience in Australia and abroad in the property and finance sectors. He is a Director of Sunland Group Ltd, Member Brisbane City Council Urban Futures Board, Chair Tennis Australia and Chair of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust, and is a past Chair of Watpac.

    Prior to joining Watpac, Chris held the position of Chairman, Development for Queensland, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates at Mirvac. Previously, Chris was the Chief Executive Officer for Mirvac Queensland from 1998 to 2008.

    Chris’ former roles include Executive Director, Sunland Group and prior to that, Head of Business Banking at QIDC.

    Chris is a past President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia and remains a life member.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791