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Tate Modern to open Bankside Power Station oil tanks in summer 2012

Tate has announced that anonymous donors have provided enough cash for the first phase of Tate Modern's extension to be completed in summer 2012, including the opening of the former oil tanks of Bankside Power Station.

Tate Modern to open Bankside Power Station oil tanks in summer 2012
Tate Modern to open Bankside Power Station oil tanks in summer 2012
Work in progress on the oil tanks in May 2011

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, said this week that 70 per cent of the 215 million cost of the development has now been raised. A year ago he said that fundraising had reached the half-way point.

"Tate's trustees have great pleasure in announcing that phase 1 of the new development of Tate Modern will open next summer when London will be the focus of worldwide attention for the London 2012 Olympic Games," said Lord Browne, chairman of Tate, at a press conference on Thursday morning.

"This is an important moment. It starts with the Olympics but will build momentum beyond. Once completed, the new Tate Modern will represent the most important new building for a national arts organisation in the UK since the creation of the British Library in 1998."

The oil tanks, to the south-west of the turbine hall, will host a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances. Further details will be announced in the new year.

The opening of the oil tanks and associated gallery spaces will form part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad. The festival runs from 21 June to 9 September 2012.

Tate says that it expects that the whole of the new building will be complete by 2016 at the latest.

"I am delighted that the oil tanks will open next summer," said Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council.

"The Tate Modern Project will have a significant impact on the regeneration of Bankside and will contribute to the further regeneration of Southwark in general."

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