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Massive makeover begins at MoMA

INTERACTIVE GALLERY

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Museum of Modern Art has kicked off the first phase of a $650 million overhaul that will increase the size of its midtown Manhattan complex by nearly two-thirds.

Workers recently began demolishing the adjacent Dorset Hotel to make room for the expansion. The project, designed by Taniguchi & Associates of Tokyo, includes plans for bigger galleries, a center for research and education and some restoration of its more noteworthy architectural features.

Total museum space will increase from 378,330 square feet to 630,000 square feet, while gallery space will go from 85,000 to 125,000 square feet.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden is being closed to the public this month and converted into a construction staging area for construction, which is to begin next spring.

The museum plans to continue holding major exhibitions at its 53rd Street galleries through 2002. It also will open temporary space in a former factory in Queens, which will house exhibitions from 2002 until the midtown museum's planned reopening in 2004 or early 2005.

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Among the masterpieces that will be installed at the Queens museum are Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night," Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" and Andy Warhol's "Gold Marilyn Monroe."

"This exceptional space will be the site of an important and exciting program of exhibitions while the museum's 53rd Street galleries undergo construction," museum director Glenn D. Lowry said in a statement.

One of the exhibitions planned for Queens is the first retrospective in the United States on Armando Reveron, a celebrated Venezuelan Modernist.



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RELATED SITES:
Museum of Modern Art
Yoshio Taniguchi: "Rethinking the Modern"
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Yoshio Taniguchi comments on MoMA expansion


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