News > Ballarat secures Freddie Mercury - Queen exhibition

Added on 07-Jul-2009

FOR the second year running, art and classic rock will mix at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

The gallery has secured Freddie Mercury - Queen as its major paying exhibition for 2010.

Like this year's John Lennon Imagine! exhibition, the display of photographs of the band and its flamboyant lead singer will be on exclusive loan from the Proud Gallery in London.

Ballarat City Council destination and connections director George Sossi said the display would cost council in the order of $100,000 to put on.

It will run from February to April next year.

Mr Sossi said the exhibition was part of a strategy to broaden the appeal of the gallery for locals and visitors.

"Up until the Lennon one and this one, we've been pretty one dimensional in our exhibitions in the sense they've been very much targeted at the high art end," he said.

"Whilst they have been successful in their own right, we need to ensure the gallery appeals to a broader audience."

At its ordinary meeting tonight, council will vote on whether to send its cultural development manager Ron Egeberg to London later this month to make arrangements for the exhibition.

In August last year, Mr Egeberg received council approval for a similar trip to prepare for the Lennon display.

A report prepared for councillors lists the cost of the trip as $8000.

Mr Sossi said the trip was also to source other memorabilia that could enhance the exhibition.

"We're certainly looking at any rights to any musicals we may be able to put on at Her Majesty's," he said.

"What we're trying to do is create a whole suite of programs around the gallery as well."

More than 11,000 people visited the gallery between February and April this year for the Lennon exhibition.

Council estimates the direct economic impact on the city was close $2 million.

Submitted by: mickyparise

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