An art gallery designed to become Africa’s world-class equivalent to the Prado in Madrid or New York’s Metropolitan is under construction at the University of Pretoria. The Javett-UP Art Centre will focus on the art of Africa, with plans to stage events and hold exhibitions to blow away the image of fusty and neglected galleries. At its helm is Christopher Till, who hopes to make the gallery just as unmissable as the spectacularly popular Apartheid Museum, where he is the founding director. It will open in 2018 in a partnership between the university, the Javett Foundation and the Art Centre Foundation, an independent trust. Art galleries designed and funded by the private sector seem to be the way to go in a country in which the government pays art and culture little attention. In February, the Johannesburg Art Gallery was closed due to rain damage, after the building deteriorated under a lack of care and maintenance. The Museum of Africa is also a shambles, with vast empty spaces ...

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