First in line love the V&Queue

De­sign mu­seum wins plau­dits from stream of vis­i­tors af­ter of­fi­cial open­ing

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Ju­dith Duffy MAIL@SUNDAYPOST.COM

The­queues snaked around one of Scot­land’s new­est and most spec­tac­u­lar build­ings yes­ter­day. But no-one was com­plain­ing about the wait af­ter get­ting the first glimpse in­side the V&A Mu­seum in Dundee af­ter the of­fi­cial open­ing. The £80 mil­lion mu­seum – nick­named the ‘V&Tay’ – is due to wel­come 6,000 peo­ple, who ap­plied for a spot, in its open­ing week­end be­fore be­ing open­ing the doors to all to­mor­row. First to ar­rive just be­fore 10am were Dundee pupils Shan­non Bal­four, Scott Re­gan and Jamie O’Neill, who are sup­ported by young per­son’s men­tor­ing char­ity Break­through. They were part of a party in­clud­ing the build­ing’s de­signer, renowned Ja­panese ar­chi­tect Kengo Kuma, V&A Dundee di­rec­tor Philip Long and Dundee City Coun­cil leader John Alexan­der. Shan­non, 17, said she was proud and happy to be part of the open­ing cer­e­mony. She said: “The build­ing is amaz­ing. “When I first walked in I thought how nice it is in­side. I think it will in­spire young peo­ple.” Scott, 17, said: “It was amaz­ing to be one of the first peo­ple through the door. “It is some­thing I will al­ways re­mem­ber.”

Jamie, 13, said: “When I walked in I could tell this is go­ing to be the big­gest thing for Dundee. It doesn’t seem like a fancy place – it feels more like a place for ev­ery­one to come and it is beau­ti­ful.” There were celebrity vis­i­tors too. Ac­tor Brian Cox, who was born in the city, was among those who ar­rived in the morn­ing. He said: “For a Dun­do­nian, it is quite emo­tional. I’ve seen this city through thick and thin. I have al­ways loved the peo­ple, but I hated what the city fathers did with the city in the 1960s, I re­mem­ber it vividly when they tore down the old part of Dundee. “It is fan­tas­tic – and it is quite emo­tional as this is what the city should be.” The V&A Dundee is Scot­land’s first ded­i­cated de­sign mu­seum and houses an eclec­tic range of dis­plays from the V&A’s own col­lec­tions and mu­se­ums around the world. Mr Long said there was “enor­mous pride and ex­cite­ment” at the open­ing of the mu­seum to the pub­lic. He said: “It’s hard to find the words for it. There are peo­ple wait­ing to get into the mu­seum, peo­ple with smiles on their faces com­ing in.” The high­lights of the mu­seum in­clude Charles Ren­nie Mack­in­tosh’s Oak Room, a tea room in­te­rior which has been care­fully re­con­structed af­ter be­ing stored in hun­dreds of pieces for al­most 50 years. The first big tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion is Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, which brings to life the golden age of ocean travel. High­lights in­clude a frag­ment of a panel from the first-class lounge in the Ti­tanic, which is on dis­play in Europe for the first time. For the first week­end, tick­ets had been al­lo­cated in ad­vance by bal­lot, with gen­eral ad­mis­sion start­ing from to­mor­row. Ac­cess to the mu­seum is free and usu­ally non-tick­eted, with the ex­cep­tion of some events and ex­hi­bi­tions. The open­ing of the mu­seum was also cel­e­brated by the 3D fes­ti­val, a free two-day event at nearby Slessor Gar­dens. Pri­mal Scream head­lined a sold-out con­cert on Fri­day night, at­tended by an au­di­ence of 10,000. Yes­ter­day there was a cel­e­bra­tion of lo­cal tal­ent at the fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing per­for­mances from former Danny Wil­son front­man Gary Clark and The View front­man Kyle Fal­coner. The mu­seum ex­pects to at­tract around 500,000 vis­i­tors in the first 12 months of open­ing, with an an­tic­i­pated 350,000 an­nu­ally in the fol­low­ing years. It is hoped the global at­ten­tion on the new at­trac­tion will help place Dundee on the map of the most vi­brant cities in the UK and trans­form its im­age. The V&A build­ing is the first in the UK to be de­signed by Kuma, who is de­sign­ing Tokyo’s Olympic Sta­dium for the games in 2020. He said the aim was to have a mu­seum with a “warm feel­ing” that is a “liv­ing room” for the city and com­mu­nity. He said: “This should be a part of the com­mu­nity and it can change the life of the city.” Mr Alexan­der said sta­tis­tics showed overnight stays in Dundee in­creased by nearly 10% from April 2017 to April 2018 – which was di­rectly re­lated to the mu­seum and the global at­ten­tion it had brought to the city. He said: “I’m al­ways asked the ques­tion what will the V&A do for the city and my re­sponse is al­ready let’s look at what it has done, be­fore it even opens its doors.”

The pub­lic’s wait to get a glimpse of the mu­seum was worth it

A wide mix of de­signs grace the V&A Dundee

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