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Cape Town builds world's biggest museum of contemporary art

The world's biggest museum of contemporary art is on display on the waterfront in Cape Town in South Africa. The art pieces are being carved from a 42 vertical nine-storey-high concrete tubes. The will feature 80 exhibition galleries, a grand atrium that will have a glass roof, an education centre, an amphitheatre on the plaza outside for outdoor events, and an outdoor roof garden with stunning views.

Cape Town builds world's biggest museum of contemporary art

South Africa will be the home of the world's biggest museum of contemporary art as work is underway to build a structure made out of 42 vertical nine-stroey-high concrete tubes.

The US$50 million (RM159 million) Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is located on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town on the southern tip of South Africa and is scheduled to open in late 2016.

Mark Coetzee, the South African-born Executive Director and Chief curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, explained:

"It has been my life dream to build a contemporary art museum in Africa. When I left Cape Town 25 years ago I vowed to return only when I had the skills and the relationships to make this happen."

Aiding the construction and design of the unique building is British architect, Thomas Heatherwick, who helped create the Olympic Cauldron for the London Games in 2012. Mr Heatherwick commented:

"How do you turn 42 vertical concrete tubes into a place to experience contemporary culture? We could either fight a building made of concrete tubes or enjoy its tube-iness."

Designers say that an elliptical section will be hollowed out from the centre of the building to create a grand atrium filled with natural light that streams in from a glass roof.

The building will feature 80 exhibition galleries, an education centre for children, an amphitheatre on the plaza outside for outdoor events and live performances, restaurants, gift shops, and an outdoor roof garden with stunning panoramic views of Cape Town and the Table Mountain.

The museum is named after Jochen Zeitz, the German entrepreneur and former Puma chairman, who holds an extensive African art collection which will be the museum's permanent exhibition. Zeitz will also underwrite the running costs for the museum.

Founded in 2002, the Zeitz Collection, which is currently held in Switzerland. Mr Coetzee explained:

"The collection is one of the most representative collections of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. I think you can say that when it is complete it will be the biggest museum in Africa and the world focusing on contemporary art practice in and from Africa."

The museum will become one of the city's leading tourists attractions when it opens and its prime position on the trendy VandA Waterfront enables holidaymakers to visit the neighbouring restaurants, boutique shops, and ferry terminal where they can head to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

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