> Paris via Alice Springs: The new Quai Branly Museum dedicated to arts and civilisations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas will open in Paris in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in mid-2006. The building is the brainchild of President Jacques Chirac and has been designed by Jean Nouvel, architect of the spectacular Arab Centre in Paris, around the image, identity, environment and function of Indigenous cultures. Nouvel's solutions are many and varied, including planting a small forest around the long building. He has also commissioned a group of eight Indigenous Australian artists, Lena Nyadbi (WA), Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford (WA), Judy Watson (Qld), Gulumbu Yunupingu (NT), John Mawurndjul (NT), Tommy Watson (WA), Ningura Napurrula (NT) and the late Michael Riley (NSW), (whose existing work will be represented) to create about 1000 square metres of paintings for some very prominent exterior ceiling and wall spaces of the building. Indigenous curators Hetti Perkins and Brenda Croft are working with the Australia Council to coordinate this extraordinary commission for which the Council has contributed $300,000. The logistics of completing an architectural commission with artists who are scattered across some very remote places are staggering – Tommy Watson for instance lives in Irrunytju Community 12kms south west of the tri-border, where the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia meet, 720 kms south west of Alice Springs on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert. The Museum is scheduled to open in 2006.

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